Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about values. Enjoy the class!



Meaning of value

Value means different things to different people. Values are the ideas, things or principles cherished by people in a society. It signifies norms and behaviour traits which are generally accepted as being of great worth in society. Values are moral principles, idea and beliefs which people hold dear and cherish, eg honesty, contentment, faithfulness, justice, tolerance, fair play, among others. They are standard criteria which determine how the people of a society, nation or state think and relate with one another. Values refer to the worth attracted to things which may not be quantified, e.g., integrity, hard work, perseverance, among others.

Values can be defined as the worth, merit or esteem which a person, individuals or group of people in the society or community have for an object or an idea. In other words, they are standards or ideals with which we evaluate actions, people, things, or situations. They are can also be referred to as ideals or beliefs that a person holds desirable or undesirable. The variability in that statement is, first, what a person could value, and second, the degree to which they value it. A person can value honesty and wealth but not to the same degree. For example, a person might have to let their values towards honesty slip a little when it involves increasing their wealth.

Kind/types of values

There are many types of values, some of them are as follows:

  1. Positive Values: These are qualities that are good, acceptable, desirable and useful. Some of the positive values of Nigerian society are honesty, humility, transparency, consistencies, commitment, and gratitude, among others.
  2. Negative Values: These refer to those qualities of things that are bad, harmful, undesirable, unacceptable or worthless. These types of values have a harmful influence on society. It prevents growth and development. Examples are improper dressing, dishonesty, sagging, embezzlement, lying, among others.
  3. General/Universal Values: These are common norms and traits which society view as good and acceptable, examples are honesty, justice, liberty, equality, tolerance, hard work, selflessness, etc.
  4. Personal Values: These refer to values considered right and suitable by individuals in society. It is an individual’s interpretation and perception of general values.
  5. Instrumental or Extrinsic Value: These are specific methods of behaviour which provide the means through which we achieve our end goals. It mainly includes character, traits and personal characteristics.
  6. Intrinsic Value: These are values expected of every member of the community which help to shape the destiny of the individual and the nation. These are internalized norms, ideas which families, schools, churches, mosques and different societies make effort to instil individually.
  7. Group Values: These are values adopted, accepted and cherished by cliques, groups and gang of people. In most cases, group values are against values held by general members of the society i.e. secret cult.
  8. Spiritual Values: It touches on the relationship between man and God. It refers to faith and believes in God as well as obedience to the divine laws of God.
  9. Material Values: These are values that are related to basic human needs (food, clothing, shelter) needed for man’s survival.

Importance of value

  1. Values provide for stabilities and uniformities in group interaction.
  2. Values bring legitimacy to the rules that govern specific activities.
  3. Values help to bring about some kind of adjustment between different sets of rules.
  4. Values help to determine and control the behaviour of individual in society.
  5. They act as criteria or measures for the judgment of individuals in society.
  6. Values give focus and direction to individuals in the family and society at large.
  7. Values help us with decision making.
  8. Values modify our attitudes and feelings towards other people through tolerance of different opinions and behaviour.
  9. Values act as standards of conduct for people in a society.
  10. Values guide people towards the achievement of declared objectives eg, individual, family, communal, corporate and national objectives, among others.
  11. Values encourage a sense of responsibility and hard work among Nigerian citizens.
  12. Values help youths to resist negative peer pressure in society
  13. Values lead to actions which promote happiness and contentment in society.
  14. Values ultimately promote development in society.
  15. Values promote self-reliance in society, thus creating employment opportunities for citizens.


In our next class, we will be talking more about Values.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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