Which personality traits are strong in people with values such as:

  • kindness
  • humility
  • sympathy
  • empathy
  • abnegation
  • church-professed values
    • solidarity
    • love for others
    • forgiving the other
    • defending the weak
    • putting the interest of other people at the same level of our interest
    • Trying to maximize your own profit is not the primary value, helping the other is the first value.
  • being good
  • mercy
  • charity
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As usual, correct any misinterpretations. In particular, I've chosen "prosocial" to summarize the unifying theme I see here. Trait relationships may differ across these separate values, so if one were to be concerned with the differences among them, this could become a very broad, dauntingly multifaceted question. Hence I suggest that any answers assume for the sake of argument that these values share a common factor, and this latent factor is the one to focus on when describing relationships to personality traits. Otherwise, this assumption could be worth questioning in more critical answers. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2014 at 10:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NickStauner: thanks. The strong question I'm trying to ask is about the difference between perceiving this value: "Trying to maximize your own profit" and this other: "helping the others" $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Mar 19, 2014 at 10:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think thats a good edit but its a little too broad...which culture are you interested in? $\endgroup$
    – user3832
    Mar 19, 2014 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ @caseyr547: that is catholic christian culture but feel free to edit my question and narrow it as you want the question I would really like to focus is the difference between people which perceiving the value of "Trying to maximize their own profit" and the one who perceive as values "helping the others". But narrowing the question only to the second category here. How can I modify the question? $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Mar 19, 2014 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


Check out Schwartz (1992) on universal values. His Figure 2 places wealth within the power value space, but near achievement, and opposite from benevolence and universalism. Benevolence, universalism, and to some extent tradition would probably subsume the values you've mentioned in the OP, whereas power and achievement would probably more than cover "trying to maximize your own profit" as a value.

I also developed my own measure of values (Stauner, Boudreaux, & Ozer, 2010) to manage the ceiling effect I've found in using the Schwartz Values Survey. I've found a similar opposition between valuation of "Helping people" and "Being or becoming financially secure". This corroborates your intuition about the strong difference between these values. I have data from the same surveys on the Big Five traits, but I haven't analyzed these relationships yet, so it's a little too early for me to weigh in on trait relationships myself. If I ever get around to publishing these analyses of my data, I'll try to remember to edit in a summary here.

In the meantime, check out Roccas, Sagiv, Schwartz, and Knafo (2002) and Vecchione, Alessandri, Barbaranelli, and Caprara (2009). Roccas and colleagues found that benevolence mostly relates to agreeableness, universalism to openness, and traditionalism to agreeableness and a few facets of other traits. Conversely, power relates negatively to agreeableness and openness, basically. Achievement relates to certain facets of extraversion, conscientiousness, and (negatively:) agreeableness. It's somewhat more complex than this, so I hope you can access the article through a library and take a closer look yourself. Vecchione and colleagues' article is even harder to sum up without sacrificing its nuances, but to put it very bluntly, their results seem roughly comparable, though the method is different.

- 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.
- Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25(1), 1–65. Retrieved from Google Books.
- Stauner, N., Boudreaux, M. J., & Ozer, D. J. (2010). Factor structure of the Values Q-Set. Poster presented at the 118th convention of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/NickStauner/apa-2010-poster-draft-1.
- Vecchione, M., Alessandri, G., Barbaranelli, C., & Caprara, G. V. (2009). Personality determinants of political participation: The contribution of traits and self-efficacy beliefs. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(4), 487–492.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much, your answer is impressive and really interesting. I've started my intuition from reading Wayne W. Dyer - your erroneous zone. he is saying that we should avoid to criticize the others even if they behave badly because it moves our locus of control where we cannot influence it. But I started thinking that avoid criticizing/ruling the others can translate only in 3 ways: fit the society rules to be a winner (requires strong effort), don't care about the other being bad with us (i.e. a bet fat man and not being chosen by girls) or "cheating" (i.e. lieing, playing as actor) $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Mar 19, 2014 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ That doesn't make a lot of sense to me...it's a pretty strong and dubious claim that criticizing others would affect locus of control. I wouldn't put too much stock in Dyer's writing in general...he's no psychological scientist. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2014 at 12:11

I believe that the most commonly accepted personality model in psych is the 5-factor model. I would argue that Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are pro-social, in the sense that Agreeableness captures many of the values you've listed, while Conscientiousness captures many other pro-social values, such as willingness to work hard and desire for achievement.

  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting! ps: if you like I have many other unanswered questions $\endgroup$
    – Revious
    Nov 18, 2014 at 11:34

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