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Facets of value conflicts in two cultures: Rankings, preferences and trade-off judgments of freedom and equality in Sweden and USA.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2006 (English)In: SPSP meeting: Palm Springs, January, 2006., 2006Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

A questionnaire study compared Swedish and American attitudes towards freedom and equality and the potential trade-off between these two values. The participants were first-year students from Stockholm University (N=54) and Stanford University (N=92). When participants simply rank-ordered a number of values related to freedom and equality no significant between-group differences in orderings were observed. However, when participants were asked to indicate their willingness to see increased freedom in their society at the expense of reducing equality, and vice versa, clear between-group differences were apparent. Both in direct measures regarding this tradeoff and in evaluation of public policy options, Swedish participants generally proved more willing than Americans to increase freedom at the expense of equality whereas the American participants proved more willing to increase equality at the expense of freedom. This result implies that answers to trade-off questions may reflect the perceived fulfillment of values in the society (more freedom in USA, more equality in Sweden), which is not shown by importance ratings. The results are discussed in the context of previous cross-cultural studies comparing political value preferences in both countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
human values, culture, freedom
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-21372OAI: diva2:187899
Available from: 2007-12-10 Created: 2007-12-10Bibliographically approved

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