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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Mapping values: using thesauruses to reveal semantic structures of cultural moral differences
Organization Unit
  • Markus Christen
  • Darcia Narvaez
  • Carmen Tanner
  • Thomas Ott
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Cognitive Systems Research
Publisher Elsevier
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 1389-0417
Volume 40
Page Range 59 - 74
Date 2016
Abstract Text Value differences across cultures or social groups are usually framed in terms of different emphases a particular group puts on specific values. For example, Western cultures typically prioritize values like autonomy and freedom, whereas East-Asian cultures put more emphasis on harmony and community. We present an alternative approach for investigating such cultural differences based on thesaurus databases that reflect the use of value terms in everyday language. We present a methodology that integrates empirical value research with linguistics and novel computer visualization tools to map and visualize value spaces. The maps outline variations in the semantic neighborhood of value terms. Based on 460 value terms both for US-English and German, we created for each language a map of 78 value classes that were further validated in two surveys. The use of such maps could inform research in three ways: first, by allowing for a controlled variability in the usage of value terms when generating vignettes; second, by indicating potential difficulties when translating value terms that display considerable differences in their semantic neighborhood; and third, as heuristics for better understanding value plurality.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1016/j.cogsys.2016.02.003
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