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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book, which examines continuity and changes in people?s beliefs and values in countries on all six inhabited continents from 1981 to 2004. The book uses the combined data from the European Values Study (EVS) and the World Values Survey (WVS) from more than 80 societies containing more than 85 per cent of the world?s population. The chapter presents an overview of countries involved in the completed survey waves. The observed trend of more leniency towards different kinds of sexual and ethical behaviors does not mean a loosening of moral standards. People?s beliefs and values differ in thousands of ways, but two dimensions of cross-cultural variation appear particularly important. The processes of economic and technological change give rise to two major dimensions of cross-cultural variation: Traditional/Secular-Rational dimension and Survival/Self-expression.

Keywords: cross-cultural variation; economic development; European values study (EVS); society cultural heritage; world values survey (WVS)



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