Value Orientations and Cooperation: Exploring the Value-Behavior Link

Project: Research

Project participants

  • Welzel, Christian (Project manager, academic)
  • Thöni, Christian (Project manager, academic)


The proposed project constitutes the German part of round six of the World Values Surveys (WVS). The WVS investigates cross-national and inner-societal differences in social, economic and political values as well as cultural change worldwide. In five rounds of the WVS, almost a hundred societies around the globe have been surveyed, making the WVS the most widely used cross-national comparative survey project. For the purpose of repeated social monitoring, this application aims to pursue the WVS-series in Germany, extending the insights from the fifth WVS. Apart from continuing an important time series, the sixth WVS in Germany puts a new focus on the relationship between values and cooperation. Voluntary cooperation is a key issue for the functioning of individualized modern societies and various theories suggest that values shape cooperation. Yet, the connection between values and cooperation is rarely analyzed. In order to do so, one needs to link survey data with observational data. For this reason, the sixth round of the WVS invites respondents to participate in an online version of a standard cooperation game that has been tried and tested in behavioral economics. The aim is to find out how certain values that have been on the rise in Germany and other postindustrial societies affect cooperation and what external conditions ease the translation of these values into cooperation.