New World Values Survey: Positive moral development continues

2023-02-24 Lüneburg. A new version of the Inglehart-Welzel cultural map, now published, illustrates that humanity continues on the path of emancipatory moral progress despite persistent cultural differences. Professor Dr Christian Welzel from Leuphana University Lüneburg is one of the coordinators of the World Values Survey, whose data form the basis for the creation of the map. It covers a total of 111 countries/societies.

The diverse data on which the cultural map is based establishes two main dimensions of cultural variation in the world. On the one hand, traditional values are contrasted with secular-rational values. This measures the role religious teachings play in societies. More secular values indicate a largely reduced role for organised religion. On the other hand, the arc spans between survival values and values of self-development. This is about how independent of kinship obligations the individuals of a society are in their life planning.

The current edition of the world map shows in a graphic presentation how the individual societies of the different continents are to be classified with regard to these two dimensions. Egypt, Morocco or Qatar, for example, are among the countries in which traditional and survival values rank high, while Sweden, Denmark and Norway are societies with a high degree of secular-rational and self-development values.

For political scientist Welzel, the results make it clear: "The wealthier and more educated the population becomes, the longer it lives and the fewer children it gives birth to, the more secular and self-confident its descendants become in their moral values."

The latest version of the World Culture Map can be found here.

More information on the World Values Study can be found here.

The World Values Survey (WVS) is a global research project that examines people's values and beliefs, how they change over time and what social and political impact they have. Since 1981, people around the globe have been surveyed for the World Values Survey. The map is based on the latest joint survey round of the World Values Survey and the European Values Study, conducted in 2017-2022. For selected countries that have not been surveyed recently, data from previous survey waves are used to calculate the map value.