Universal Impact of Formal Education on Value Attitudes in Cross-Regional Perspective

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Head of the Laboratory of Monitoring of Risks of Sociopolitical Destabilization; Leading Researcher
National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Senior Researcher
Affiliation: Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Vice-head of the International Laboratory of Demography and Human Capital
Affiliation: Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Researcher; Associate Professor
Gaidar Institute of Economic Policy
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 9

Cognitive-psychological theory of education expects it to display some universal effects on human rationality and attitudes. However, recent evidence suggests that the impact of education on values depends on the particularities of values in the milieu where education is received. This paper aims to systematically investigate effects of formal education on value attitudes highlighting universals among these effects observed in all regions of the world. For this purpose, we use a multivariate model based on data from seven waves of the World Values Survey. Six subsamples of countries were analyzed including OECD, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, East and Southeast Asia. Following universal effects were found out: as the education levels of the respondents raises, so does the level of their participation in various social organizations, as well as their interest for politics and willingness to participate in various political actions. Tolerance to living in the neighborhood with people of different race, religion increases, as does tolerance to manifestations of freedom of choice. Commitment to gender equality and child emancipation values grows with education. The more educated respondents also feature decreasing religiosity. Such a row of universally observed effects of education makes it possible to assert that values are influenced not only by specific social contexts in which education is acquired, but also by the level of education itself, - a fact supporting cognitive-psychological theory.

Keywordsvalues, education level, education effects on values, post-materialistic values, social activity, participation in politics, emancipation of children, gender equality, religiosity
AcknowledgmentThe article was prepared as part of the research work under the state assignment of the RANEPA.
Publication date27.09.2021
Number of characters17754
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