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Learning From The Past and Planning For The Future


"One man's way may be as good as another, but we all like our own best." - Jane Austen
Short Subjects

Mental Health Moment Online

CISM/CISD Annotated Links
Annotated links to sites about CISM/CISD and CISM Teams nationally and internationally. Additional links will be added over time.

Gulf War Syndrome



NIMH Meeting Announcements

Fifth Annual Innovations in Disaster Psychology Conference
"Psychosocial Reactions to Terrorist Attacks"
Sept. 29-Oct 1
Location: Radisson Hotel
Rapid City, South Dakota

International Biennial Conference on Self-Concept Research:
Driving International Agendas

August 6 - 8, 2002
Location: Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Contact: Kate Johnston
SELF Research Centre
University of Western Sydney, Australia

Latino Psychology 2002 conference
October 18-20, 2002
Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Contact: Maria Garrido, Chair
"Latino Psychology 2002"
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
University of Rhode Island Email:


Full-time work for wives decreases the likelihood of divorce but does not improve marital happiness, Penn State researchers say. Robert Schoen, the Hoffman Professor of Family Sociology and Demography, and several colleagues used data from the National Survey of Families and Households to study the impact of employment on marital happiness. The team's findings were recently presented at the Population Association of America conference in Atlanta. When compared to wives in marriages where both spouses were happy at the starting point, wives who were unhappy were more likely to enter or remain in the full-time labor force between then and the end point of the data. For the full story by William Harnish, visit


Neurobiological vulnerabilities, adverse childhood experiences, can contribute developing personality disorders. Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter 18(6) 2002


Here is the second in a series of dispatches from College of Earth and Mineral Sciences writer Dana Bauer, who recently traveled with meteorologists from Penn State and the International H2O Project (IHOP) on the trail of storms across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. It's a hot, dusty day and we've been cruising back and forth along the same 10-mile stretch of road for over two hours. A few puffy cumulus clouds have formed along the dryline, but my novice eyes can't detect signs of a storm brewing. Our mission is to collect data such as dew point and temperature on both the moist and the dry sides of the dryline. Part of the trick is to find the boundary. The distance over which the dew point changes is called a moisture gradient, and the dryline is somewhere on that gradient. As that distance gets shorter, meteorologists like to say that the moisture gradient is tightening. More often than not, this tightening will result in a storm. Not always, though. The IHOP team hopes that the data it collects will reveal why the process seems to be hit or miss. For more on storm searching, visit the Research/Penn State Web site at

Arizona Wildfire Evacuees Return Home

Arizona wildfire evacuees returned to their homes over the weekend to find a haphazard path of blackened landscape and burned houses. While some spots remained unscathed by the massive blaze, others were not so lucky.

Texas Family Finds Safety, Comfort at Red Cross Shelter

The deluge continues, but a Texas couple can finally relax after finding safety for their five children, including their 6-year old son Roy, who suffers from a debilitating case of juvenile rhuematory arthritis.


Values refer to our orientations toward what we consider to be desirable or preferable. As such, they express some relationship between environmental pressures and human desires.

Because values represent a convergence of the individual and society, values research has been rather well suited as a method for exploring cross-cultural variations. As Kluckhohn (1951) has stated, the goals of cultural anthropology, sociology, and psychology are:

"The concept of values supplies a point of convergence for the various specialized social sciences, and is a key concept for integration with the study in humanities." (p.389)
In a later article, Smith (1969) stated that:
"the handful of major attempts to study values empirically have started from different preconceptions and have altogether failed to link together and yield a domain of cumulative knowledge." (p.98)
Because empirical research on values has been conducted by people who "differ widely in disciplinary origin, in substantive theoretical interests and modes of investigation" (Inkeles & Levinson, 1969, p. 435), it isn't surprising to learn that the term "values" has been used with many different connotations. As a result, it is probably better to adopt a definition which expresses a common direction that underlies the observed differences. Kluckhohn (1951) suggested a definition that may capture "the fluid state of value studies... and the ambiguity of the term value" (Albert, 1968, p. 288). Its vagueness expresses the common denominator which underlies these differences:
"A value is a conception explicit or implicit, distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, of the desirable which influences the selection from available modes, means and ends of action" (Kluckhohn, 1951, p. 395).
This definition, while half a century old, hints at some communality between the individual and the sociocultural sphere without specifying its nature. A good understanding of how an individual functions within his/her social and cultural context is still a ways off.

The idea of values as being distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group is an ambiguous one. It assumes isomorphism between the individual and the collective aspect of values. This issue has been raised over and over again in various contexts and social science disciplines. As Kluckhohn and Murray (1948) stated long ago, a man is:

a. like all other men,

b. like some other men,

c. like no other man.

The same can be said in regard to values. In the study of values, social scientists have solved the intricacies between what is unique and what is shared in different ways. None of these solutions have been acceptable to all.

Cultural anthropologists view the individual as a culture carrier and as an informant who can provide information about a group's values when speaking about his/her own. Anthropologists who assumed no within-culture variance adopted this view:

"Any member of a group, provided that his position with that group is specified, is a perfect sample of the group-wide pattern on which he is acting as an informant." (Mead, 1962, p. 6)
This suggested isomorphism between an informant and the group today seems like an oversimplification. However, when it was proposed, the use of a group member as a provider of information about values in a society was an innovation in cultural anthropology. Up until that point, cultural anthropologists had relied on the traditional ethnographic sources, such as religious beliefs, general behavior items, artistic works, etc. to study values. In a similar manner, sociologists, who are both members and observers of their society, have often provided descriptions of its values by relying essentially on their own analytical powers.

Znaniecki (1918) can be credited with being the first to introduce the idea that values could be approached empirically, and could form the basis for a new discipline, social psychology. He conceived this as a general science of the subjective side of culture. Social psychology

"may claim to be the science of consciousness as manifested in culture, and its function is to render service as a general auxiliary science, to all the special sciences dealing with various spheres of social values." (p.78)
Decades later, cultural anthropologists gave the study of values a prominent place as part of a comparative science of culture. According to the social anthropologists, it is through values that cultural determinants of behavior can be studied. Values were viewed as the result of traditional ideas transmitted historically. They were reflected as the essential core of culture (Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1952). Values were defined variously as the unconscious canons of choice (Benedict, 1934), cultural themes (Opler, 1945), the unconscious system of meanings (Sapir, 1949), a world view (Redfield, 1953), and the central core of meaning (Kluckhohn, 1956). Value configurations were the analytical concepts expressing these central features of cultures. They represented an "abstraction" of the researcher (for example, in Benedict's classification of culture as "Dionysian and Appollonean"). This distinction was borrowed from Nietzsche's (1901) early work, The Birth of Tragedy.

In his early work, Kluckhohn (1949) attributed to Americans a "good time ideology" on the basis of their high expenditures for alcoholic beverages, theater and movie tickets, tobacco, cosmetics, and jewelry. Some authors have viewed this kind of inference as being redundant. If "good time ideology" summarizes elements of social behavior, it cannot be expected to explain it. It is significant to note that at the time of these early formulations, analytical abstractions that were derived from the observation of patterns of every day life, and expressed as values, were the goal of anthropological analysis and appeared as the antecedents of behavior. Culture was viewed as a logical construct. It was the network of abstracted patterns generalized by anthropologists. At the same time, these patterns were viewed as internalized by individuals (Kluckhohn, 1954). Descriptions of values and explanations of behavior appeared interchangeable.

"Operationally the observer notes certain kinds of patterned behavior. He cannot 'explain' these regularities unless he subsumes certain aspects of the process that determines concrete acts under the rubric 'values' (Kluckhohn, 1951, p. 396).
When these early formulations were developed, cultural anthropologists were concerned with cross-cultural comparisons of relevant cultural dimensions in the mapping of the range of cultural relativism. Each culture was studied in its own terms (Brislin, 1976). Sociology concurrently began to place emphasis on within-culture value variations rather than on between- culture comparisons. Parson's (1949) well known example described values associated with age and sex roles in American society. Pursuant to the assumption that social values are accessible to society members, Parsons, an American, did not base his analysis on field work. He followed the German tradition - the method of Verstehen, consisting of a thorough understanding of the phenomena under study. He distinguished the having-a-good-time value of the youth culture from the dominant American adult values of achievement in the professions and business community.

Within this context, values suggest preferences that are close to observed concrete behavior. Values are not seen as expressing the common core of a culture. Rather, they are viewed as keys to differentiating social positions in a functional perspective.

Self, Political, and Moral Values

There have been a number of cross-cultural surveys that dealt with specific value orientations (e.g., nationalism, modernization, moral values, etc.). Klineberg and Zavalloni (1969) compared the relative strength of tribalism over nationalism in six African countries: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Congo, Ghana, and Uganda. One of the instruments used was the "Who am I?" test (Kuhn & McPartland, 1955). It measures self-concept. A respondent is asked to answer the question "Who am I?" twenty times. Results suggested that Congolese students were the most, while the Ghanian and Nigerian students were the least ideologically oriented. Students in Senegal expressed philosophical-existential values as important aspects of their self-concept. Compared to Nigerian, Ugandan,, Ghanian, and Senegalese students, the Congolese and Ethiopian students were more extreme in their nationalistic orientation. Tribal origin of respondents was inversely associated with a nationalistic orientation. MacLeod (1959) found nationalism to be dominant in the Middle East. Inkeles and Smith (1974) developed a general scale to measure modernism (the OM scale - overall modernity measure). Interviews with almost 6,000 industrial workers, urban employees, and cultivators of six developing countries confirmed the existence of a general syndrome of modernization (Davidson & Thompson, 1980; Berry, 1980).

Kahl (1968) researched the general value syndrome of modernism on the basis of seven Likert scales that represented: activism, relative preference for urban life, individualism, low community stratification, mass media participation, and low stratification of life chances. Results indicated that people in small towns in the interior of Brazil and Mexico were traditionalists while people in Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City were modernists. An important determinant of modernism was social status.

Cross-cultural surveys on moral values are scattered and few in number. Rettig & Pasamanick (1962) compared American and Korean respondents' notions of fifty morally prohibited behaviors. Conceptions of morality were similar. Exceptions were an emphasis on "puritanical morality" in the American sample and on "personal welfare" in the Korean sample. Studies on cross-cultural attitudes toward normative violations such as crimes and the kinds and amounts of sanctions recommended for them indicated that Japanese sampled favor more severe punishment for crimes than did comparable Americans sampled (Tapp, 1980; Kohlberg, 1969).


When looking at the implications of survey methods when used in cross-cultural studies of values, the following points are important:

1. Results point to consistent and sometimes striking differences between cultures without providing explanations of the underlying mechanisms that produce these differences.

2. As a result, there is an evident need to study the cognitive and motivational basis of self-values in cross-cultural contexts. At the same time, without a clear-cut and consistent mapping of cultural differences obtained by questioning large samples from different cultures, as can be done using the survey method, the study of values (as in results of intrapsychic processes) will lack substance.

3. Finally, the very success of the survey method makes its principal weakness salient. Its compelling tendency is to rely, for interpretation of results obtained, in inferences that may appear to some as being too speculative and always vulnerable to what Campbell (1969) called "rival hypotheses".

Progress of the survey approach from an early, purely descriptive level to an analytical one using cross-tabulations, correlations, clustering and other advanced statistical methods still falls short of providing tools for studying the underlying processes that generate manifest responses. As Powers (1973) stated, "statistical facts entice us to overlook the individual organismic properties that must underlie all statistical facts" (p.231).Understanding the function of human values in different cultures will require a convergence between social psychology and modern cognitive theory. Knowledge has advanced to a point that a mapping of gross differences between cultures in self-values is attainable. Parameters suggest that the frequencies of given variations in populations studied can be established. Exploring the underlying dynamics of values, as psychic content, requires a consideration of survey date. However, such data should not be used for speculations about cultural determinants of psychic processes. On the contrary, since survey data provide information on variations of value differences, small subsamples expressing these differences should be selected for an intensive idiographic study to explore the interconnections between modal values and psychological or cultural antecedents.

Greater emphasis needs to be continually given to minority views and to values as sources of social influence. Data obtained through survey research techniques, which continue to become more powerful and refined due to advanced computer programming. can provide indispensible and basic information on the fundamental beliefs of a society at a given moment. The usages and inferences from results obtained will continue to change. They will likely become sources for the elaboration of variables more suitable to the study of processes and of complex structures in individuals and groups.



Albert, E. (1968). Value systems. In D.L.Sills (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social sciences. Vol. 7. New York: Macmillan, pp. 287-91.

Benedict, R. (1934). Patterns of culture. Boston,: Houghton Mifflin.

Berry, J.W. (1980). Introduction to methodology. In H.C. Triandis & R.W. Brislin (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology: Methodology, Vol. 2. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Brislin, R.W. (1976). Comparative research methodology: cross-cultural studies. International Journal of Psychology, 11, 215-29.

Campbell, D. (1969). Perspective: Artifact and control. In R. Rosenthal & R. Rosnow (Eds.), Artifact in behavioral research. New York: Academic Press, pp. 351-82.

Davidson, A.R. & Thompson, E. (1980). Cross-cultural studies of attitudes and beliefs. In H.C. Triandis & R.W. Brislin (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychologu: Social psychology, Vol. 5. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Inkeles, A. & Levinson, J. (1969). National character: The study of modal personality and sociocultural systems. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology, Vol. 4. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, pp. 418-506.

Inkeles, A. & Smith, D.H. (1974) Becoming modern: Individual change in six developing countries. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Kahl, J. (1968). The university of modernism: A study of values in Brazil and Mexico. Austin, Texas, University of Texas Press.

Klineberg, O. & Zavalloni, M. (1969). Tribalism and nationalism. The Hague, Mouton.

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Kluckhohn, C. (1951). Values and value orientations in the theory of action. In T. Parsons & E. A. Shilds (Eds.), Toward a geneal theory of action. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 388-433.

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Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization. In D.A. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory and research. Chicago: Rand McNally, pp. 347-480.

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Smith, M.B. (1969). Social psychology and human values. Chicago: Aldine.

Tapp, J. (1980). Studying personality development. In H.C. Triandis & R.W. Brislin (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology: Developmental psychology, Vol. 4. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Znaniecki, F. (1918-1920). Methodological note. In W.I. Thomas & F. Znaniecki, The Polish peasant in Europe and America. Boston: Bodger.

To search for books on disasters and disaster mental
health topics, leaders, leadership, orgainizations,
crisis intervention, leaders and crises, and related
topics and purchase them online, go to the following url:

Contact your local Mental Health Center or
check the yellow pages for counselors, psychologists,
therapists, and other Mental health Professionals in
your area for further information.

George W. Doherty
O'Dochartaigh Associates
Box 786
Laramie, WY 82073-0786


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