Current and Historical Antecedents of Individual Value Differences Across 195 Regions in Europe

H. van Herk, Y.H. Poortinga

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study analyzes differences on two value dimensions, conservation and self-enhancement, at both the individual and regional level across Europe. Within-country regions represent "cultunits" that often have belonged to different nation-states in history. Eight antecedent variables are explored. At the regional level, the variables include historical sociopolitical context, recent sociopolitical context, regional affluence, and main religion of the region; at the individual level, they feature religiousness, education, gender, and age cohort. The largest effects for region are associated with Gross Domestic Product, including differences between former Communist and non-Communist regions. Hardly any effects pertain to more distant history. At the individual level, there are substantial differences across age cohorts and effects of education, religiosity, and gender. Interactions between region- and individual-level conditions suggest people's values are shaped in their youth; the largest differences mark cohorts in Central and Western Europe who were raised during the Cold War. © The Author(s) 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1248
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number8
Early online date16 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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