posting by Jana
This week I participated in a Common Cause introductory workshop and masterclass session in Common Cause Communications over two days here in Adelaide. The scholarship to participate was such a gift: I learned so much about values and frames, and met some amazing people working on incredibly meaningful co-flourishing causes related to the environment, democracy, and asylum seeking. My thanks to the facilitator and co-founder of Common Cause Australia, Dr Eleanor Glenn for this opportunity and for creating such a collegial learning environment.
WHAT IS COMMON CAUSE?
WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT VALUES & FRAMES?
I learned that a large number of values, or principles/motivations that guide (most subconsciously) our goals, attitudes, and behaviours, have been found to be universal and can be grouped into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic.
The 58 values distilled from extensive research are mapped in the image above.
Researchers have further grouped these values into 10 motivational goals or values segments. These are the coloured labels in the segments on the map above.
These segments clump together into 4 broader sets.
Intrinsic value segments include self-direction, universalism, and benevolence.
Extrinsic value segments are achievement and power. Security operates differently, and stimulation and conformity/tradition have elements that relate to both intrinsic and extrinsic values.
The workshops, and the work of Common Cause generally, centres around helping organisations activate intrinsic values when engaging with people about their work. Research referred to in Common Cause materials indicates that intrinsic values are associated with greater pro-social and environmental attitudes and behaviours and that extrinsic values are associated with reduced pro-social and environmental attitudes and behaviours.
Frames are sets of associations that help order ideas. I found that the concept of frames is easiest to understand by example. One example Eleanor shared in the workshop was to invite us to think about taxes from two different frames: tax as a contribution and tax as a burden. Frames are a choice, and organisations can choose frames for communication that activate intrinsic values and help people reason about an issue from the organisation’s perspective.
For me, the Community of the Cosmic Person and the idea of Ecozoic Living activate the Openness to Change and Self-Transcendence segments of the values map:
What activities and associations help nurture your intrinsic values?