UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Value orientations in Ceylon: a comparative study and critique Stuart, Crampton Michael


This thesis comprises the analysis of data gathered in Ceylon by a value-analysis questionnaire, the Kluckhohn Value Orientation Schedule, and a critique of the method. The data were gathered from a total of 403 respondents in Ceylon during the Summer of 1963 by Dr. Michael M. Ames of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of British Columbia. The particular focus of the study was upon a sample of 75 parent-child pairs who completed the Ceylonese questionnaires together with a critique of the particular questionnaire method, including its use in two studies which preceded the Ames research. In 1961, F. Kluckhohn and F.L. Strodtbeck published the original study in which the Kluckhohn Value Orientation Schedule was developed and tested in five cultures in the American Southwest. In 1962, W. Caudill and H.A. Scarr published a partial replication of the Kluckhohn and Stodtbeck study utilizing the questionnaire in Japan. The Ames use of the same value schedule followed in Ceylon in 1963. The Caudill and Scarr and Ames research suffer from some limitations not found in the original study, including statistically incidental sampling, but in general, since the same value schedule was used in all three studies, the same underlying assumptions guided each. Our approach to the analysis of the Ames data and the construction of the critique begins with a brief introduction to the study of values in Chapter I, followed in Chapter II by a description of the Caudill and Scarr Japanese research and the statement of the hypotheses derived from this research to be tested with the Ceylonese data. In Chapter III the analysis of the data is outlined and an attempt is made to assess the influence of selected background variables upon value-orientation (value-configuration) choice. The material relevant, for the test of the hypotheses is presented in Chapter IV. The methodological critique is presented in Chapter V. Our initial finding, that none of a comparatively large number of background characteristics of the respondents seemed to exert as much differential effect upon value-orientation choice as did differences between questionnaire items within the same value-orientation area, led us to question the validity of the value schedule. As far as the test of the hypotheses formulated from the Caudill and Scarr Japanese findings is concerned, we found that hypotheses describing empirical facts, otherwise unexplained, were more successful in prediction than those more general in scope and hence including a greater number of implicit variables. An attempt was made in the methodological critique to assess this difficulty in terms of the philosophical assumptions underlying this particular approach to value analysis. We found that there seem to be dominant and major variant value-orientations (most and second most chosen value configurations according to the items on the Kluckhohn Value Orientation Schedule supposed to represent these configurations) but that division of the sample according to categories of such variables as age, sex, and place of residence seems to exert little effect upon value-orientation choice. An attempt, following Caudill and Scarr, to use questionnaire items to tap selected "behaviour spheres" defined on a "common-sense" basis must be considered to be largely a failure, due to the diffuseness of the definition of the spheres, the fewness of items thought by Caudill and Scarr to represent them, and the small number of cases in the sample. We conclude with a suggestion for an assessment of the significance of the data so far collected by these value studies utilizing a first approximate, graphic, comparative method.

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