A look into the relationship between personality traits and basic values: A longitudinal investigation

Michele Vecchione, Guido Alessandri, Sonia Roccas, Gian Vittorio Caprara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The present study examines the longitudinal association between basic personal values and the Big Five personality traits. Method: A sample of 546 young adults (57% females) with a mean age of 21.68 years (SD = 1.60) completed the Portrait Values Questionnaire and the Big Five Questionnaire at three time points, each separated by an interval of 4 years. Cross-lagged models were used to investigate the possible reciprocal relations between traits and values, after the stability of the variables was taken into account. Results: We found that values did not affect trait development. Traits, by contrast, have some effects on how values change. Specifically, high levels of Agreeableness predict an increase over time in the importance assigned to benevolence values. Similarly, high levels of Openness predict a later increase in the importance assigned to self-direction values. The same effect was not found for the other traits. Additionally, except for in the case of Emotional Stability, traits showed synchronous (i.e., within wave) correlations with values, suggesting that part of this relationship is due to common antecedents. Conclusions: Mechanisms underlying the associations between traits and values are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Big Five personality traits
  • basic personal values
  • longitudinal relations


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