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Test (or Study) of Gordon Allport Values

Test (or Study) of Gordon Allport Values

June 11, 2024

The Values ​​Study, a personality test prepared by Gordon Allport , Philip Vernon and Gardner Lindzey, was one of the first psychological instruments that were developed with the objective of evaluating personal values ​​or basic motivations. In this article we will analyze the content, the mode of application and the variables that this test measures.

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The Allport Values ​​Study

The American psychologist Gordon William Allport (1897-1967) is known primarily for his personalistic theory, one of the first attempts to explain personality human from the psychology, emphasizing the individuality of each human being and the active aspect of our nature, which drives us to achieve goals.


In the year 1931 Allport, along with Philip E. Vernon and Gardner Lindzey, published a scale of evaluation of personal values, which can also be understood as basic motivations. This test was based directly on the book "Types of men" by the philosopher Eduard Sprange r and its creators called it "Values ​​Study".

Allport thought that a good way to analyze the personality of a specific individual is to evaluate what their moral values ​​are. In this sense he gave much more importance to the present moment than to personal history, in which the psychoanalytic orientation was focused, which dominated the psychology of the time.


The goal of the Allport test and its collaborators is to determine the relative weight they have for a given individual six types of values: the theoretical, the economic, the aesthetic, the social, the political and the religious , which Spranger considered fundamental. Later we will describe in detail the definition of each of these basic motivations.

  • Related article: "Gordon Allport's personality theory"

Content and mode of application of the test

The Allport test consists of two parts. The first one is composed of dichotomous questions; for example, item 24 ("Which of these books would you choose?") includes the answer options "A) History of religion" and "B) History of industrial development". At present, each item includes four response options depending on the intensity of the preference.


The second part contains statements with four response options that they should be ordered according to the degree of relative preference . Thus, in item number 9. ("Which topic would you prefer to discuss in a meeting with close friends?") You would have to order the options "A) The meaning of life", "B) The latest scientific developments", "C ) Literature "and" D) Socialism ".

The total number of items in the test rises to 240: in the first part, 90 points are assigned to one or other of the values ​​that are evaluated, while in the second, 150 points are distributed according to how the response options have been ordered of each of the elements.

The Values ​​Study can be applied both individually and collectively (that is, to several people at the same time). Although there is no set time limit to complete the test, examinees should try to answer questions more or less quickly. It is important to mention that the test was designed for people with higher education .

  • Related article: "Types of psychological tests: their functions and characteristics"

The 6 values ​​reflected in the test

The results of the Values ​​Study consist in obtaining six scores, one for each of the basic motivations handled by Spranger, as well as by Allport and its collaborators. The comparison between the scores in one and other variables indicates how important each of these values ​​(or behavioral tendencies) is for the person.

1. Theoretical

People with a high score on the theoretical value they want to discover the truth about things , that is, to obtain knowledge ordered and systematized through logical and empirical criteria.

2. Economical

The economic value is associated with the focus on the material and the practical. This includes the accumulation of goods, the saving of energy and the utilitarian conception of relationships with other people .

3. Aesthetic

Those who score high on this motivation value the beauty, the harmony and the formal aspects of reality , which is somewhat opposed to the theoretical value. Your personal satisfaction is derived from the creation and / or contemplation of aesthetic experiences.

4. Social

The main motivation of these people is to have the company of others, and the help of others is their core value. The high scores in this variable They indicate altruism, kindness, compassion and generosity .

5. Politician

In this case, the main motivation is obtaining power and control over the behavior of other individuals ; this is associated with leadership. Knowledge is seen as a means to achieve this goal.

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6. Religious

According to Allport, people governed by religious reasons they orient their behavior based on their spiritual beliefs and ethics. Both the definition of this value and the items that compose it are ambiguous and are probably the best example of the negative impact that the passage of time has had on the Values ​​Study.


Measuring Personality: Crash Course Psychology #22 (June 2024).


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