How Do Values Affect Behavior? Let Me Count the Ways

Lilach Sagiv, Sonia Roccas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of personal values on preferences, choices, and behaviors has evoked much interest. Relatively little is known, however, about the processes through which values impact behavior. In this conceptual article, we consider both the content and the structural aspects of the relationships between values and behavior. We point to unique features of values that have implications to their relationships with behavior and build on these features to review past research. We then propose a conceptual model that presents three organizing principles: accessibility, interpretation, and control. For each principle, we identify mechanisms through which values and behavior are connected. Some of these mechanisms have been exemplified in past research and are reviewed; others call for future research. Integrating the knowledge on the multiple ways in which values impact behavior deepens our understanding of the complex ways through which cognition is translated into action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-316
Number of pages22
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • individual differences
  • personal values
  • personality structure
  • values and behavior


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