Rokeach Value Survey

Rokeach Value Survey

The Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) is a classification system of values. Developed by social psychologist Milton Rokeach, the system consists of two sets of values, 18 individual value items in each. One set is called terminal values the other instrumental values.[1]


  • Beliefs, Attitudes and Values 1
  • Terminal Values 2
  • Instrumental Values 3
  • Survey info 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Beliefs, Attitudes and Values

RVS is based on a 1968 volume (Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values)[2] which presented the philosophical basis for the association of fundamental values with beliefs and attitudes. His value system was instrumentalised into the Rokeach Value Survey in his 1973 book The Nature of Human Values.[1]

Terminal Values

Terminal Values refer to desirable end-states of existence. These are the goals that a person would like to achieve during his or her lifetime. These values vary among different groups of people in different cultures.

The terminal values in RVS are:

  1. True Friendship
  2. Mature Love
  3. Self-Respect
  4. Happiness
  5. Inner Harmony
  6. Equality
  7. Freedom
  8. Pleasure
  9. Social Recognition
  10. Wisdom
  11. Salvation
  12. Family Security
  13. National Security
  14. A Sense of Accomplishment
  15. A World of Beauty
  16. A World at Peace
  17. A Comfortable Life
  18. An Exciting Life

Instrumental Values

Instrumental Values refer to preferable modes of behavior. These are preferable modes of behavior, or means of achieving the terminal values.

The Instrumental Values are:

  1. Cheerfulness
  2. Ambition
  3. Love
  4. Cleanliness
  5. Self-Control
  6. Capability
  7. Courage
  8. Politeness
  9. Honesty
  10. Imagination
  11. Independence
  12. Intellect
  13. Broad-Mindedness
  14. Logic
  15. Obedience
  16. Helpfulness
  17. Responsibility
  18. Forgiveness

Survey info

The task for participants in the survey is to arrange the 18 terminal values, followed by the 18 instrumental values, into an order "of importance to YOU, as guiding principles in YOUR life" (Rokeach, 1973, p. 27). The Rokeach Value Survey has been extensively used in empirical work by psychologists, sociologists and marketers.[3] There have been a number of attempts to reduce the 18 instrumental values and 18 terminal values into a set of underlying factors (see for example Feather and Peay, 1975; Johnston, 1995) but without consistent success.[3]

See also

  • Clyde Kluckhohn
  • Social value orientations
  • Feather, N. T., & Peay, E. R. (1975). The structure of terminal and instrumental values: Dimensions and clusters. Australian Journal of Psychology, 27(2), 151-164
  • Rokeach, M. (1979). Some unresolved issues in theories of beliefs, attitudes and values. In H. E. Howe, Jr., & M. M. Page (Eds.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (Vol. 27). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


  1. ^ Rokeach, M. (1973). The Nature of Human Values. New York: The Free Press.
  2. ^ Rokeach, M. (1968). Beliefs, attitudes, and values: A theory of organization and change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  3. ^ Johnston, Charles S. (1995). The Rokeach Value Survey: Underlying structure and multidimensional scaling. Journal of Psychology, 129(5), 583-597.