Value judgments: The impact of perceived value violations on American political attitudes

P. J. Henry, Christine Reyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Values are proposed to have an influence on politics via multiple expressions, and two such value expressions are explored in this manuscript: abstract value expressions and judgmental value expressions. In particular, it is believed that judgmental value expressions (or perceptions of value violations) will have a particularly strong influence in determining attitudes toward policies designed to help specific groups in society. This study analyzed data from two samples regarding attitudes toward welfare and marriage rights for gays. It was found that perceptions that each group violates a specific value played a more important role in predicting political attitudes than abstract value expressions, general negative affect directed toward the group, and political ideology. The results are contextualized in a discussion of the role values play in the politics of intergroup relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-298
Number of pages26
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Abstract values
  • Gay marriage
  • Value judgment
  • Value violation
  • Values
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science and International Relations


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