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Where is the Location of “Health” in the Human Values System? Evidence from Estonia

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Schwartz et al. (J Pers Soc Psychol 103(4):663–688, 2012) proposed a refined value theory. Like earlier value inventories, however, their measure captures only one approach to health—avoidance of disease. A broader measure to capture the full spectrum of the importance people place on health was developed, which was based on the World Health Organization’s definition of health. It includes the components of physical, mental, social, and emotional health. Research materials comprised the answers of 1818 Estonian online-survey respondents, and multidimensional scaling was used. Association on the first two value dimensions showed that valuing health might be a consequence of different motivations. Health values were further found to disperse on a third dimension, which did not follow the conflicts and compatibilities ordering the original two value dimensions. Taken together, these findings indicate that health values operate in conjunction with other value types in guiding health-related attitudes, intentions, and behaviors, and therefore potentially relate to objective and perceived health outcomes.

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    In Appendix S1 a test of the refined value theory (Schwartz et al. 2012) is presented.


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The research project, entitled “The Location of Health in a Refined Basic Individual Values Model and Testing the Model’s Three-Dimensionality”, was supported by a Grant from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (PUT78). We thank Shalom H. Schwartz for his helpful comments and for checking the translation and back translation into English. We are also grateful to Beth Sullins and English Proofreading OÜ for proof-reading/editing of this paper. Henrik Dobewall was project manager at the Department of Psychology, University of Tartu, Estonia when the data were collected.

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Correspondence to Henrik Dobewall.

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Aavik, T., Dobewall, H. Where is the Location of “Health” in the Human Values System? Evidence from Estonia. Soc Indic Res 131, 1145–1162 (2017).

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  • Estonia
  • Health as a value
  • Personal values (PVQ-R)
  • Dimensionality
  • Health psychology