Why personal values matter: values, colorblindness, and social justice action orientation

Meredith V. Tittler, Daniel G. Lannin, Suejung Han, Lukas J. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The extent to which individuals prioritize different personal values may be conceptually linked to endorsement of racial colorblindness beliefs as well as orientation toward social justice. The present study examined how personal values predicted racial colorblindness and social justice action orientation in a sample of undergraduates (N = 325; Age, M = 20.38, SD = 2.78). Results supported the hypotheses: Self-transcendence and openness to change values predicted higher social justice action orientation, mediated by lower colorblindness beliefs, whereas self-enhancement and conservation values predicted lower social justice action orientation, mediated by higher colorblindness beliefs. Hence, motives that emphasize others’ well-being and openness to change may be linked to less racial colorblindness and a greater willingness to address social inequalities. To encourage social justice efforts, institutions and social networks may benefit from considering implicit and explicit messages that promote the well-being of others and the value of openness as opposed to values that prioritize individual status and prestige and maintaining the status quo.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date22 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Aug 2020


  • Colorblindness
  • Conservation
  • Self-transcendence
  • Social justice
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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