What Is the Difference Between Values and Beliefs?

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Values refer to a set of ideas that guide an individual on how to evaluate right versus wrong, whereas beliefs refer to a set of doctrines, statements or experiences a person holds as true, usually with evidence or proof. Both are deeply intertwined because beliefs influence how an individual develops values.

Development of personal values starts as early as childhood and is shaped by the beliefs and values of parents. Peer interaction and society, in general, play an important role in the formation of personal beliefs. Beliefs are derived from what a person experiences, hears, sees and think, and they change as new evidences or experiences challenge what was previously held.

Values are used by a person justify decisions, intentions and actions, and an individual with high moral values typically displays characteristics of integrity, courage, respect, fairness, honesty and compassion. Conversely, beliefs guide members of society on how individuals are treated regardless of status, age, race or education.

According to Immigration Advisers Authority, a person’s behavior towards circumstances is heavily influenced by personal values and beliefs. They affect decision making and how people react to different situations.

In essence, personal beliefs and values share the idea of individual’s choice, meaning a person can make his own choices and form his own beliefs.