Values are things that people believe are important, not born with but are acquired. Values are guides to the way you live your life.

Your values shape your life:

  • Attitudes: your general thought about a person, situation, belief of object
  • Beliefs: Things you belive are real, true or that you have faith in
  • Behaviour: the way in which you or another person acts

    Values influence decisions. They are what makes decision making different from problem solving. In problem solving there may be only one correct answer, but in decision making several people given he same situation may make different decisions. They may be right for them because they hold different values. Someone may value financial security or independance, and others may value education and friendship. These are just common examples.

    As people grow from childhood to adolescence their values are likely to change. They are also likely to alter during the course to adulthood. A study in Britain gave two groups of students, one of children about 5-6 and another around 11-13, this question:

    A man's wife is very sick and near death. There is an expensive medicine that will make the wife all better but the man is poor and cannot afford it. Is it alright if he steals the medicine so his wife can live?

    The 5-6 year olds believed it was wrong to steal since it is against the law. The older group found that a human life is worth the risk, after all, a human life is priceless and therefore more valuable than the stolen medicine. This showed that as children grew up their thoughts became more complex and thus learned that certain things they may have valued were probably not as important as they originally thought.