Values, expectations, and the prediction of social action: An expectancy-valence analysis

N. T. Feather, James W. Newton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Two studies were conducted to test hypotheses about the relationship of values to action within the context of expectancy-valence theory. In these studies, university students who had previously completed the Rokeach Value Survey answered questionnaires that related to social movement organizations and that contained attitude items, expectancy items, and measures of willingness to assist these organizations. It was predicted that (1) value rankings from the Rokeach Value Survey will be systematically related to attitudes toward social movement organizations; (2) both attitudes and outcome expectancies (subjects' estimates of how helpful their action will be) will be correlated with measures of willingness to act on behalf of an organization; and (3) attitudes and expectancies will jointly account for more of the variance in action measures than either attitudes or expectancies can account for independently. Results showed that hypotheses were consistently supported across two measures of action, two contrasting organizations, hypothetical and actual commitments to act, and two subject samples. These results extend the scope of the expectancy-valence approach by incorporating general values (conceived as motives) into the analysis, and they have practical implications for social movement strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-244
    Number of pages28
    JournalMotivation and Emotion
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1982


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