Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

In-groups, out-groups, and their contrasting perceptions of values among generational cohorts of Australians

Heritage, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6437-7232, Breen, L. and Roberts, L. (2016) In-groups, out-groups, and their contrasting perceptions of values among generational cohorts of Australians. Australian Psychologist, 51 (3). pp. 246-255.

PDF - Authors' Version
Download (234kB) | Preview
Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Personal values guide, and are used to justify, behaviours both within and beyond organisational contexts. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y are purported to vary in the values they espouse and hence their behaviours. The aim of this research was to examine and compare self-ratings and out-group perceptions of the importance of the four overarching clusters of values in Schwartz's circumplex model by generation.

A convenience sample of 157 participants (49 Baby Boomers, 47 Generation X, and 61 Generation Y) completed an online survey of self-rated values and perceptions of another generation's values.

Multivariate analyses identified that self-ratings of self-enhancement, openness to change, and conservation value clusters varied between generations (medium effect size), but self-transcendence did not. Out-group perceptions of generations varied across all four value clusters (very large effect size). We then compared each generation's self-ratings of value importance with perceptions of value importance provided by other generations (in-group/out-group comparisons). There were significant variations between self-ratings and perceived importance ratings provided by other generations for all three generations (large effect).

Larger differences in other-ascribed than self-ascribed value importance across generations highlights the need to avoid actions based on generation value stereotypes, both within and beyond the workplace. Further research on a representative sample of the Australian population using a mixed-methods approach is recommended.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: © 2016 Australian Psychological Society
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year