A new centre to promote the understanding and appreciation of human and cultural values and their impact on important societal issues will be launched at The University of Western Australia next week.
The Centre for Human and Cultural Values will link academics, businesses and government to develop timely solutions to important social issues.
The Centre, which was established as part of an ARC Linkage Grant, will launch this Wednesday 21 February, with a line-up of public and academic seminars, as well as the inaugural Values Impact Forum on February 22 and 23.
The Centre has six main research streams including:
- Personal and cultural values, including the range and nature of values, how values can be used to characterise societies, groups, and individuals, and how values change over time and across age and life stage.
- Children’s values, including how values relate to social, academic and health issues.
- Societal issues, including how values guide, justify and explain beliefs, attitudes, norms, opinions, and actions, such as environmental conservation, social inclusion, ageing, and health issues.
- Prosocial behaviour, including how values guide charitable giving, volunteering, sustainable lifestyles, and interactions with animals and the environment.
- Consumer behaviour, including how values influence an individual’s interaction with and choice of goods and services.
- The workplace, including the impact of values on innovation and entrepreneurship, teams and identity, volunteering, cooperation and creativity.
The Values Project includes an interactive website, which allows anyone to measure their own values by completing a brief online survey.
It gives an indication of what types of values are important to you and how they guide choices. For instance, people who place great importance on stimulation in life are likely to seek exciting and new experiences across all aspects of life. They will look for exciting activities and be willing to take risks or change plans spontaneously, whether at work, with family or with friends.
In contrast, people who place great importance on security in life are likely to seek safety in their immediate environment and also safety and stability in wider society. They are likely to avoid walking alone at night, look for stable employment, be concerned about the threat of terrorism and be in favour of preserving law and order in society.
Centre Director Dr Julie Lee said it was important to understand that people could have very different values.
“As you can imagine, people who have values that drive them towards exciting and new experiences will find it difficult to understand the choices of people who have values that drive them to seek safety and stability in life and vice versa,” Dr Lee said.
“It’s the aim of the Centre to study these differences, to promote understanding of them and then to make those findings available to everyone, including decision-makers, to help them form policies.”
The official opening of the Centre for Human and Cultural Values is at UWA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 February, with the opportunity to view and explore Zadok Ben-David’s HUMAN NATURE exhibition.
Media wishing to attend the official opening or seminars can contact Maryann Evetts on (08) 6488 5905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716