Value Instantiations: The Missing Link Between Values and Behavior?

  • Paul H. P. Hanel
  • Katia C. Vione
  • Ulrike Hahn
  • Gregory R. Maio


Value instantiations—exemplifiers of an abstract or general category—are a new issue in human value research. Experiments have recently highlighted the important role of value instantiations in bridging the gap between abstract values and specific actions. In this chapter, we describe the general role of category instantiations in psychology, drawing on relevant literature in cognitive and social psychology. We discuss the relevance of value instantiations to important topics in the study of values, such as (non-)differences in values between nations, and the application of values to behavior. We then discuss instantiations as a mechanism through which values are related to behavior. We demonstrate that instantiations moderate the relationship between values and behavior: If the measured behaviors reflect typical instantiations of a value, the relationship between the two is stronger. Finally, we illustrate the potential roles of value instantiations by describing a method for measuring them and then examining findings relevant to two values: protecting the environment and family security.



The authors acknowledge financial support by the School of Psychology, Cardiff University (, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC; to the first and last author (ES/J500197/1), and the CAPES Foundation (Brazil, to the second author. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul H. P. Hanel
    • 1
  • Katia C. Vione
    • 1
  • Ulrike Hahn
    • 2
  • Gregory R. Maio
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffWales, UK
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesBirkbeck, University of LondonLondonEngland, UK

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