The World Values Survey (WVS) is an international research program devoted to the scientific and academic study of social, political, economic, religious and cultural values of people in the world. The project’s goal is to assess which impact values stability or change over time has on the social, political and economic development of countries and societies. The project grew out of the European Values Study and was started in 1981 by its Founder and first President (1981-2013) Professor Ronald Inglehart from the University of Michigan (USA) and his team, and since then has been operating in more than 120 world societies. The main research instrument of the project is a representative comparative social survey which is conducted globally every 5 years. Extensive geographical and thematic scope, free availability of survey data and project findings for broad public turned the WVS into one of the most authoritative and widely-used cross-national surveys in the social sciences. At the moment, WVS is the largest non-commercial cross-national empirical time-series investigation of human beliefs and values ever executed.
Project’s overall aim is to analyze people’s values, beliefs and norms in a comparative cross-national and over-time perspective. To reach this aim, project covers a broad scope of topics from the field of Sociology, Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Public Health, Demography, Anthropology, Social Psychology and etc. In addition, WVS is the only academic study which covers the whole scope of global variations, from very poor to very rich societies in all world’s main cultural zones.
The WVS combines two institutional components. From one side, WVS is a scientific program and social research infrastructure that explores people’s values and beliefs. At the same time, WVS comprises an international network of social scientists and researchers from 120 world countries and societies. All national teams and individual researchers involved into the implementation of the WVS constitute the community of Principal Investigators (PIs). All PIs are members of the WVS.