University of Twente Student Theses


International students’ values in imaginations of a desired future

Kuhn, Alina (2019) International students’ values in imaginations of a desired future.

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Abstract:Via narrating people can establish who they are, what they value in life or imagine who they want to become, forming a narrative identity. Contrary to exploring narratives about past events, future narratives offer the possibility to get to the realm of possible selves, thus, who we might become in the future. Analysing such possible enables to examine values of an individual. Such values, however, are embedded and evaluated in a sociocultural context. In order to analyse an individual’s values and the influences a sociocultural environmental might have on an individual the circular continuum theory by Schwartz was adopted. According to the model the higher order values self-transcendence vs. self-enhancement and openness to change vs. conservational form two basic conflicts due to their contrasting motivations. To analyse what values individuals in an intercultural environment prioritized, the current study adopted the instrument of narrative future letters with millennial students as participants. Within the sample a strong aspiration for openness to change values came to the fore. This was followed by the values self-enhancement and self-transcendence. Conversational values were valued least frequently. Moreover, four different patterns could be found, indicating the conflicting potential of the four higher order values. However, it appeared that the millennial students imagined different manners to sidestep such conflicts, implementing opposing values in their possible behaviour. Also, it came to the fore, that conflicts between values appeared which theoretically have compatible motivations. This calls into question in how far Schwartz’s theory can be adapted in order to explain these findings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:10 humanities in general
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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