Values - Truth and meaning

Gregory R. Maio gave his Spearman Medal Lecture at the Annual Conference in Blackpool. What happens when what you think you hold dear is questioned?
Social values, such as freedom, equality, and power, are often used as key premises for debate. For example, one individual may oppose abortion because it threatens the ‘sanctity of life’, whereas another person may favour the provision of abortion because it promotes ‘freedom’. Such conflicts arise in a variety of important social issues (e.g. criminal punishment, education, equality rights, health care, immigration, religious freedoms, and war). In the passionate debates on these issues, it is evident that people have strong feelings about the values that support their positions, and that these values predict a wide variety of their attitudes and behaviour (Kristiansen & Hotte, 1996; Rokeach, 1973). But research has only recently begun to explore the rational, cognitive foundations of values.

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