FINPLN 4380/7380 Value Interviews  

FINPLN 4380/7380 Value Interviews



Interview 3 people to finish the Table 1 and Rokeach Value Rank Surveynish, and write 2 pages report.

Due 24 hours.


  1. Before you talk with anyone, use material from class discussions, readings, or other relevant material to develop a list of values that you believe portrays what the AVERAGE American considers important. Note that this list may or may not mirror what you personally believe is important in your own life – especially if you don’t consider yourself average!  Note you are NOT limited to the values we have discussed in class.  Please think broader than the list of 12 values on the Forced Choice Values test.


  1. Interview 3 people, preferably ones who are quite different from one another in general characteristics such as age, race, lifestyle, and current place in the lifecycle. Record the basic demographic characteristics of each person.  Ask these three people to


(1)  tell you two things:


(i)   what they think the average American values

(ii)  what are their own top 3 values


(2) complete Rokeach’s Ranked Value Survey


Please note:  I would strongly prefer that you not give your interviewees a list of values to review when you ask them their opinion about values.  Please encourage your interviewees give you their own ideas.  You may give them a few examples if necessary.



Submit a 2  page double-spaced analysis of your research findings on-line by 11:59 pm Sunday, February 11.  In this analysis:

  1. Describe the characteristics of your interviewees. Explain how they are similar and how they are different.
  2. Compare what you expected to find with what you did find.
  3. Compare what your interviewees said about the values of the “average American” with what they said about their own values.
  4. Compare and contrast the responses of your interviewees as a group.
  5. Compare your rankings on Rokeach’s value ranking test with that of two interviewees. For each of your comparisons, what similarities and differences did you find?  What do you think contributed to these similarities and differences?  Explain
  6. Drawing from the results of your (admittedly limited) research, propose one or more specific value-based goals that you believe the average American is working to achieve.


Pick a presentation style that works for you and the points that you want to make.  If several of your interviewees mention the same values, it may be easier to focus on values as your main theme and discuss similarity and difference of interviewees as related to the values.  If your interviewees have quite different values, it might be easier to focus on describing your interviewees first and then discuss what they hold to be important and your assessment of why they hold those values rather than others for each interviewee.  Or you might find a different approach works for you.  Just be sure that however you chose to construct your analysis, you respond to points 3a through 3f.








Table 1.  Results of Values Survey


What You believe the AVERAGE American values



Interviewee Characteristics


Person 1 Person 2 Person 3
Age (approximate is ok)      

[M or F]


[white, black, Asian, Latino, other]

American Citizen?

[yes or no]

Education level

[< high school, high school, some college, college degree, post baccalaureate degree]


[yes or no]

Have children?

[yes or no]



They THINK  average American values: Person 1 Person 2 Person 3









THEY value Person 1 Person 2 Person 3












Rokeach Value Rank Survey


Below are two lists of values.  One list relates to things considered important as an end result (Terminal or Intrinsic values).  One list relates to things considered important as a means to an end (Instrumental or Extrinsic values).


For each list, please put a number to the left of the value indicating its rank to you, using “1” to denote top rank, “2” to denote next in rank, on down to “18” to denote bottom rank.




Terminal Values




Instrumental Values


  A world at Peace (free of war and conflict)     Ambitious (Hard-working, aspiring)
  Family Security (taking care of loved ones)     Broadminded (Open-minded)
  Freedom (independence, free choice)     Capable (Competent, effective)
  Equality (brotherhood, equal opportunity for all)     Cheerful (Lighthearted, joyful)

Self-respect (self esteem)


Clean (Neat, tidy)


Happiness (contentedness)

    Courageous (Standing up for your beliefs)
  Wisdom (a mature understanding of life     Forgiving (Willing to pardon others)
  National security (protection from attack)     Helpful (Working for the welfare of others)

Salvation (saved, eternal life)


Honest (Sincere, truthful)

  True friendship (close companionship)      

Imaginative (Daring, creative)

  A sense of accomplishment (a lasting contribution)     Independent (Self-reliant, self sufficient)
  Inner Harmony (freedom from inner conflict)     Intellectual (Intelligent, reflective)
  A comfortable life (a prosperous life)     Logical (Consistent, rational)
  Mature love (sexual and spiritual intimacy)     Loving (Affectionate, tender)
  A world of beauty (beauty of nature and the arts)     Obedient (Dutiful, respectful)
  Pleasure (an enjoyable leisurely life)     Polite (Courteous, well-mannered)
  Social recognition (respect, admiration)     Responsible (Dependable, reliable)
  An exciting life (a stimulating active life)     Self – controlled (Restrained, self discipline)



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