3.2. Course of the Study and Characteristics of the Test Sample
Preference rates for 20 terminal and 20 instrumental values obtained by the means of the rank method were determined for each of the examined. Taking into account the hypotheses formulated in the study, a statistical analysis consisted of demonstrating the differences between the above-mentioned indicators depending on the independent variable, which was the denomination indicated in the homogeneity scale. Comparing the average rank values between individual groups in terms of their preferences, a post-hoc (multiple comparisons) NIR test (the least significant difference) was used.
As a result, Hypothesis 1 was adopted on the basis of the assumption that the Orthodox and Catholic religions in the first millennium of their existence belonged to the same Christian church, i.e., they were based on the same theological assumptions. This premise was the basis for the supposition that the followers of Orthodoxy and Catholicism—belonging to the common church for centuries—should be characterized by similar preferences of terminal values resulting from the basic assumptions of faith. On the other hand, the history of Orthodoxy indicates a closer relationship with the secular authority than that of the Catholic religion, which shapes specific procedures, hereby affecting the system of instrumental value preferences.
In terms of terminal values, the respondents of the two most-represented denominations—Catholics from Catholic families and Orthodox Christians from Orthodox families differ significantly in relation to the five terminal values: love, environmental protection, equality, internal peace and salvation
. Love, equality
and environmental protection
belong to the group of interpersonal values, focusing on society, while inner peace
are within the group of intrapersonal values, focusing on the individual. Therefore, the studied groups differ more in the preferences of interpersonal values that are socially oriented. In terms of instrumental values, significant differences concern values “loving” and “tolerant”, i.e., values from the moral group (“loving”) and concerning interpersonal relations (“tolerant”). Differences in terminal value preferences between the two denominational groups under analysis are shown in Figure 1
while the differences between these groups related to instrumental values are presented in Figure 2
. The first hypothesis is rejected.
Hypothesis 2 was adopted on the basis of the assumption that the pursuit of conflict-free coexistence of two different religions is accompanied by mutual adjustment of value systems. Children from mixed families are equipped with a value system that is a compromise between the Catholic and Orthodox values, which allows for the conclusion that regardless of the final declaration of religious affiliation, their value systems will be similar.
The second hypothesis was verified positively because there were no significant differences regarding terminal and instrumental values between Orthodox and Catholic respondents from mixed families. Differences in terminal value preferences between Catholic and Orthodox respondents from mixed families are presented in Figure 3
, while differences between these groups regarding instrumental values are shown in Figure 4
Hypothesis 3 was adopted on the basis of the assumption that Orthodox believers value constancy and invariability relatively higher than Catholics which, in consequence, may result in a lower tendency to negate the value of the denominational community they come from.
The third hypothesis has been positively verified. The significant differences in relation to the terminal values between non-believing respondents from Catholic families and Catholic respondents from Catholic families concerned the following values: security, social maturity, love, environmental protection, exciting life, beauty, family, happiness, salvation, health and human life.
The differences in the group of interpersonal values that focus on social relations (security, social maturity, love, environmental protection
) prevail, but there are also differences in the preferences of intrapersonal values (happiness
). There are less significant differences in the sphere of instrumental values between non-believers from the Catholic families and Catholic respondents from the Catholic families than differences in the preferences of terminal values appropriate for these groups. Both groups rank significantly the following instrumental values: loving, responsible, obedient, creative.
The first three represent a group of moral values, the fourth value includes a group of competence, cognitive and intellectual values, which are more individual than social, including such qualities as: ambitious, independent, brave
. Differences in terminal value preferences between Catholic respondents and respondents not declaring a denomination from Catholic families are presented in Figure 5
, while differences between these groups related to instrumental values are presented in Figure 6
There are significantly fewer differences in relation to terminal values between non-believing respondents from Orthodox families and Orthodox respondents from Orthodox families than in the previously compared groups; there is only one significant difference regarding the value of perfection
, which belongs to the group of intrapersonal values. Important differences in the sphere of instrumental values between non-believing respondents from Orthodox families and Orthodox respondents from Orthodox families were noted in the following values: logical
. Both of these values belong to the group of individual competence values. Differences in the terminal values preferences between respondents of the Orthodox denomination and those not declaring denominations from Orthodox families are presented in Figure 7
, while the differences between these groups related to instrumental values are presented in Figure 8
The nature of the values for which significant differences were noted between unbelieving respondents from Catholic families and non-believing respondents from Orthodox families allows to draw the conclusion that the former are inclined to make changes in the value preferences in the sphere of social relations, while the latter are expected to do that in the personal sphere.
The third hypothesis is positively verified, which allows us to conclude that Orthodox believers are characterized by a strong reluctance to change, treating traditions as an unchanging value. On the other hand, Catholics treat the category of change as a positive trait leading to development.
Hypothesis 4 was formed on the belief that non-believers, while creating their system of ultimate values, base themselves on the terminal value preferences characteristic for religious systems and their followers. At the same time, they show a desire to detach themselves from the believers’ behavior, which is manifested by their change of instrumental value preferences.
There were no significant differences in terms of terminal values between non-believing respondents from non-believing families and Catholic respondents coming from Catholic families and respondents of the Orthodox religion coming from Orthodox families. However, there were two significant differences in relation to instrumental values: independent
(both of a competence nature). The differences in the terminal value preferences between respondents of the Catholic and Orthodox denominations and not declaring denominations are shown in Figure 9
, while the differences between these groups related to instrumental values are presented in Figure 10
The fourth hypothesis is confirmed because in relation to terminal values no significant differences were found in the value preferences of the compared groups and, at the same time, the existence of two differences in the preferences of instrumental values was pointed out. This confirms the impact of the entire social environment, including, to a large extent, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, on the preference system of terminal values of the surveyed non-believers. In turn, the desire to deviate from certain social behaviors is associated with the negation of certain instrumental values underlying these patterns of behavior. This proves the tendency of non-believing respondents to depart from certain values in practical activities, and not in the sphere of universal axiology.
Presented below is the denomination of the research respondents and their families. As shown in Figure 11
, vast majority of the respondents were of Catholic denomination and came from Catholic families. The second most numerous group consisted of respondents of Orthodox denomination coming from Orthodox families. Significantly less represented were the groups coming from mixed families or non-believers.
The verification of the hypotheses put forward in the study makes it possible to positively validate the thesis that religion is one of the important cultural factors differentiating the value preferences of people remaining in the circle of its influence. In the process of the departure from the religious homogeneity in relation to Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox Church, one can notice a lack of statistically significant differences in the preferences of terminal and instrumental values. Noteworthy is also the fact that the value preferences of the people who do not declare a religion converge with the preferences of the value of believers, which may indicate the impact of the cultural and religious environment on the value system of people who are not declared religiously. A departure from religion entails relatively bigger changes in the preferences of terminal and instrumental values in the group of respondents coming from Catholic families rather than those of Orthodox origin.