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Personal Core Value: Personal Security

Personal Core Value: Personal Security

 

  5 Min Read


The Personal Core Value: Personal Security is an Extrinsic Motivator.

Understanding the importance of the core value of personal security can be a game-changer for your life decisions, relationships, and well-being. Explore how this value impacts different facets of life and take a test to see if it’s a guiding principle for you.


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1. What is Personal Security?

Within the Value Theory by Shalom Schwartz, security is conceptualized as a core personal value that underscores the significance of safety, stability, and harmony within an individual's life and their broader social contexts. It encompasses a desire for a predictable and safe environment, where threats are minimized, and individuals feel cared for and supported. Security as a value motivates actions and choices aimed at preserving social order and personal well-being for human motivation and behavior (Schwartz, 1992).

"A feeling of confidence, safety, and freedom that separates from fear and anxiety, and especially the feeling of satisfying one’s needs now (and in the future)." - Maslow

Maslow’s theory of human motivation on self-actualization may differ from Schwartz's theory on the concept of value and needs of individuals, yet personal security is the most fundamental and embedded in both concepts.

2. The Interplay of Personal Security and Self-Determination Theory

Personal security as a value stems from fundamental human needs for safety and stability, reflecting cultural and theoretical frameworks (Kluckhohn, 1951; Maslow, 1965). This pursuit aligns closely with the tenets of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which emphasizes the fulfillment of basic psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness—as essential to individual health and well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000). It makes people feel secure when they are better positioned to develop competencies and maintain meaningful, supportive relationships.

When the need for personal security is met, individuals are more inclined to exhibit behaviors that reinforce their sense of autonomy, nurture, and foster relatedness. This, in turn, contributes to enhanced well-being and a more fulfilling life experience (Sagiv & Schwartz, 2022). The interplay between personal security and SDT underscores the importance of creating environments and social structures that support these foundational needs, facilitating a more secure and self-determined attitude.

3. Real-Life Applications of Personal Security as a Core Value

Personal security serves as a foundation for individuals to experience a sense of independence. It expresses itself in moderation when one's values and beliefs are safeguarded, allowing for the fulfillment of personal and professional life.

An example of this is how gender distinctions reflect broader cultural patterns and shape the way personal security is pursued and experienced.

Reinforced by cultural norms, traditionally, men are expected to provide and protect their families and property. Schwartz's research reveals how women prioritize emotional and psychological security, especially in maternal and partnership roles, often making personal sacrifices for their loved ones. This nurturing instinct aligns with women's tendency towards "expressive" person-oriented roles, emphasizing values like benevolence, conformity, and security.

4. Personal Security and the Challenges it Faces in the Modern World

In the wake of rapid economic growth and urbanization, there's a prevailing sense that life has become more convenient and accessible. However, this newfound ease comes hand in hand with a host of challenges with privacy concerns, constant stress, and a pervasive sense of social anxiety navigating through the landscape of our modern world.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote work trends, reflecting a heightened focus on personal security and well-being. Surveys globally showed a shift towards remote employment, with many prioritizing safety over returning to potentially unsafe public environments. These individual choices ripple through society, shaping daily routines and economic structures, highlighting the importance of personal security in shaping societal norms and workplace policies.

5. Conclusion

It is imperative that as we advance, our understanding and methods to ensure protecting personal security to safeguard anxiety. By integrating the concept within the broader framework of human values, Schwartz provides a nuanced understanding of how the pursuit of safety and stability intersects with motivational domains for the growth of individuals.

The PVQ-RR assessment on www.findyourvalues.com, based on Schwartz's refined theory, offers us invaluable insights into our core values. Take the test today, and empower yourself to navigate through self-awareness for personal growth (Schwartz & Cieciuch, 2022).


  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. [https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60281-6]
  2. Roccas, S., Sagiv, L., Schwartz, S. H., & Knafo, A. (2002). The big five personality factors and personal values. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 28(6), 789-801. [https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167202289008]
  3. Sagiv, L., & Schwartz, S. H. (2022). Personal values across cultures. Annual review of psychology, 73, 517-546. [https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-020821-110629]
  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. [https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191121998760]
  5. Schwartz, S. H. (2017). The refined theory of basic values. In Springer eBooks (pp. 51–72). [https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56352-7_3]
  6. Abi‐Hashem, N., & Driscoll, E. G. (2013). Values (Shalom H. Schwartz) – security. The Encyclopedia of Cross‐Cultural Psychology, 1325–1326. [https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp598]


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