How Far Into the Future Can Values Predict Behavior? It Depends on Value Importance

Joshua Lake, Joanne Sneddon, Anat Bardi, Julie Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When people say a value is important to them, does it have consequences years later? Recent research found that among people who hold a value to be highly important, there tend to be strong relations between that value and behavior. But does this effect persist over time? The current research found that highly important values correlate with behavior, 1 and 2 years later, significantly more strongly than less important values, using a sample of Australian adults (n = 2,333 to 3,135). We found this between refined values and indices of value-expressive behaviors, as well as between tradition and universalism values and charitable donations. This adds to our understanding of the nature of values as priorities, showing that highly important values operate differently to less important values by having a stronger role in their effect on behavior, not just in the present but also in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2024


  • personal values
  • value-expressive behavior
  • value-behavior relations
  • quantile correlations
  • stability

Cite this