Instrumental Value

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Definition: Instrumental Value

Instrumental values are specific methods of behavior, and it is not an end goal but rather provides the means by which end goal can be achieved. Character traits and personality are the instrumental values which helps individual to reach the goal. There are 18 instrumental values as stated by Rokeach. They are: ambitious, imaginative, broadminded, independent, capable, intellectual, cheerful, logical, clean, loving, courageous, obedient, forgiving, polite, helpful, responsible, honest, and self-controlled.

 

On the other hand,Terminal values are final goals and not the means to achieve something else. In 1970s a social psychologist Milton Rokeach defined values and classified it as instrumental/extrinsic value and terminal/intrinsic values.

Ex: Happiness is a terminal value where as being ambitious to earn a million dollars is a way to get happiness for some people. Here ambitious is instrumental value.

 

An instrumental value can be direct or indirect. For example, for a hedonist, music may be the direct instrumental value since it helps him generate pleasure whereas, guitar may be regarded as indirect instrumental value since it generates music which in turn gives the person pleasure. Generally, based upon direct and indirect concept instrumental value can be of multiple grades. The first grade instrumental value is the direct instrumental value whereas second grade is the indirect one that generates the direct one and third grade is the one that generates the second grade value and so on. It can go until infinite instrumental value.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Instrumental Value along with its overview.

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