Journal Article

Age Differences in Value Orientation—Life Cycle or Cohort Effects?

Ottar Hellevik

in International Journal of Public Opinion Research

Published on behalf of World Association for Public Opinion Research

Volume 14, issue 3, pages 286-302
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0954-2892
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1471-6909 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/14.3.286
Age Differences in Value Orientation—Life Cycle or Cohort Effects?

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A series of biennial surveys in Norway have found large age differences in value orientation, exceeding those found for other social background variables. What lies behind the age differences, cohort or life cycle effects, is investigated by means of cohort analyses. A change diagram permitting the simultaneous presentation of results for several variables is developed. The pattern of change is varied, whether one looks at value dimensions, indexes or indicators, suggesting the existence of stable cohort differences as well as changing preferences over time for individuals. The substance of the results contradicts the postmaterialism theory of Ronald Inglehart. The population trends, as well as the preferences of the young, are characterized by a preoccupation with material possessions and consumption rather than postmaterialist values.

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Subjects: Communication Studies ; Marketing ; Media and Communication ; Political Behaviour ; Social Research and Statistics

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