Personal Core Value: Face

Personal Core Value: Face


  5 Min Read

The Personal Core Value: Face is an Extrinsic Motivator.

“Face”, a term often associated with one’s reputation and social standing, holds deep significance across cultures. Delve into its intricacies and learn how you can assess its prominence in your life.

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1. Understanding the Concept of 'Face'

The term 'face' isn't solely about the physical aspect one presents to the world; it delves deeper, reaching into the realm of dignity, respectability, and societal recognition. Stemming from core value theories like those proposed by Shalom Schwartz, the emphasis on 'face' is profound across cultures (Schwartz, 1992). As human beings, we are wired to seek validation, affirmation, and respect from our peers. This quest is deeply embedded in our psyche, having its roots in the early human desire for societal inclusion and the evolutionary advantage it provided (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

2. 'Face' from Various Cultural Perspectives

The universal concept of 'face' takes unique forms across cultures. In Eastern societies, such as China and Japan, maintaining one's 'face' is of paramount importance, deeply entwined with personal honor and societal expectations. On the other hand, Western cultures, while valuing 'face', often link it with personal achievements and individual recognition, a testament to the individualistic nature of these societies (Sagiv & Schwartz, 2022). Understanding these nuances is crucial in today's globalized world where cross-cultural interactions are commonplace.

3. The Interplay of 'Face' with Other Personal Values

"The greatest truth is honesty, and the greatest falsehood is dishonesty." - Abu Bakr

The value of 'face' often intersects and sometimes conflicts with other personal values. Honesty, integrity, and transparency, for instance, can be at odds with the preservation of 'face'. In situations where admitting a mistake or showing vulnerability might lead to a loss of face, individuals often grapple with complex moral dilemmas (Schwartz & Cieciuch, 2022). Balancing these competing values requires introspection and self-awareness.

4. Real-Life Examples of 'Face' in Action

Imagine being at a gathering where a colleague unintentionally reveals a mistake you made at work. The immediate flush of embarrassment, the desire to defend yourself, or the urge to downplay the error are all tied to the concept of 'face'. On a larger scale, consider nations engaging in diplomatic negotiations. The desire to come across as strong and unyielding, even in the face of potential collaborative opportunities, can be linked to the nationalistic version of 'face' (Sagiv & Schwartz, 2022).

5. The Evolution of 'Face' in Modern Times

With the rise of social media and the digital age, 'face' has taken on new dimensions. Online reputation, social media validation, and even 'cancel culture' can be seen as modern iterations of the age-old concept of 'face'. Navigating this digital landscape requires a reevaluation of what 'face' means in the 21st century and how one can maintain authenticity in an increasingly curated world.

6. Finding Your 'Face' Value

Grasping your own relationship with 'face' can lead to profound personal insights. Do you often act to preserve face, even at the cost of other values? How does this impact your relationships and personal growth? Taking our personality assessment on www.findyourvalues.com can provide clarity. Based on the comprehensive PVQ-RR method (Schwartz & Cieciuch, 2022), it's tailored to offer a deep dive into your core values, including how much 'face' influences your choices. Don't miss out on this opportunity for introspection and personal development!

  1. Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 1-65). Academic Press.
  2. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68.
  3. Sagiv, L., & Schwartz, S. H. (2022). Personal values across cultures. Annual review of psychology, 73, 517-546.
  4. Schwartz, S. H., & Cieciuch, J. (2022). Measuring the refined theory of individual values in 49 cultural groups: psychometrics of the revised portrait value questionnaire. Assessment, 29(5), 1005-1019.

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