Re-specifying the Sacred Values Scale

Adon Lee Neria, University of Texas at El Paso


An object or value becomes sacred when a person feels compelled to protect and admire it. When a person holds a Sacred Value (SV) they are less likely to accept compromises, or “taboo tradeoffs,” to that value and will behave less rationally to protect it from perceived slights. Though research on SV has replicated well, there has yet to be a popularized scale measuring it. A previous attempt at developing a multidimensional scale for measuring the degree to which a person holds any value as sacred was made that resulted in a 15-item measure. Though this version demonstrated good predictive validity, its psychometric properties were lacking and its dimensions did not correlate with each other, suggesting that it was not a unified scale of the SV construct. The present study has re-specified the previous scale into a 35-item SVS that exhibits improved psychometric properties with factors that correlate well with each other. A path analysis investigating the predictive utility of the SVS compared to attitude strength and moral conviction showed that the factors of the SVS differentially predicted resistance to taboo tradeoffs and willingness to aggress for the sake of one’s SV. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Subject Area

Religion|Experimental psychology

Recommended Citation

Neria, Adon Lee, "Re-specifying the Sacred Values Scale" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1593285.