Self-transcendence values and sense of community: Driven by the concern for the welfare of strangers or for those we are acquainted with?


Self-transcendent values have recently been introduced in research in Sense of Community (SoC) to address the issue of inclusive and exclusive forms of SoC. The present paper, reporting the findings of a cross-sectional study involving 469 adult Italian participants,expands the results of a previous study by (a) replicating a model in which community universalism (i.e., an operational application of universalistic rules in local communities) is associated to SoC both directly and indirectly, through the mediation of the perceived reliability of community facilities, and (b) adding the basic self-transcendent values of benevolence and universalism to the model so as to test their associations with community universalism and SoC. The results confirmed the original model and showed different patterns of relationship linking benevolence (directly) and universalism (indirectly) to SoC. The differences are explained based on the concrete vs. abstract level of the two values and the different social categorization level implied.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v9i1p106

Keywords: Sense of Community; Self-transcendence values; Universalism; Benevolence; Community-diversity debate


Ardenghi, S., Rampoldi, G., Bani, M., & Strepparava, M.G. (2021). Personal values as early predictors of emotional and cognitive empathy among medical students. Current Psychology.

Bayram, A. B. (2016). Values and prosocial behaviour in the global context: Why values predict public support for foreign development assistance to developing countries. Journal of Human Values, 22(2), 1-14.

Choi, G. (2021). Basic Human Values and Attitudes Towards a Universal Basic Income in Europe. Basic Income Studies, 16(2), 101-123.

Di Nuovo, S., Hichy, Z., &Pirrone, C. (2011). Un contributo alla validazione Italiana del Portrait Value Questionnaire e all’indagine sul ruolo dei fattori socio-demografici [A contribution to the Italian version of the Portrait Value Questionnaire and to the understanding of the role of socio-demographic factors]. In Caprara G.V., Scabini, E., Steca, P., & Schwartz, S. H. (Eds). I valori nell’Italia contemporanea (pp. 322-345). Angeli.

Fritz, M. S., & MacKinnon, D. P. (2007). Required sample size to detect the mediated effect. Psychological Science, 18(3), 233–239.

Jorgensen, B., Jamieson, R., & Martin, J. (2010). Income, sense of community and subjective well-being: Combining economic and psychological variables. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(4), 612–623.

Ma, L. & McLean Parks, J. (2007). Rules or relationships: Scale development of Universalism versus Particularism as individual values. IACM 2007 Meetings Paper. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Mannarini T., Talò C., & Rochira A. (2017). How diverse this community is? Sense of community, ethnic prejudice and perceived ethnic heterogeneity. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 27, 181-195.

Mannarini T., Talò C., Ntzani E., Kritikou M., Serra Majem L., Salvatore S., Warner L.M., & Brandi M.L. (2018). Sense of community and the perception of the socio-physical environment: A comparison between urban centers of different sizes across Europe. Social Indicators Research, 137, 965-977.

Mannarini T., Salvatore, S. (2019). Making sense of ourselves and others: A contribution to the community-diversity debate. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 1(5), 26-37.

Mannarini T., Procentese F., Gatti F., Rochira A., Fedi A. & Tartaglia S. (2020a). Basic human values and sense of community as resource and responsibility. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 31, 123-141. 10.1002/casp.2498

Mannarini T., Rochira A., Ciavolino E., Salvatore S. (2020b). Individual and perceived community determinants of sense of community: The role of universalism values. Journal of Community Psychology, 48, 623-637.

McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 6-23.;2-I

Neal, Z.P, & Neal, J.W. (2014). The (in)compatibility of diversity and sense of community. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 1-12.

Parks-Leduc, L., Feldman, G., & Bardi, A. (2015). Personality traits and personal values: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 19(1), 3–29.

Peterson, N. A., Speer, P. W., & McMillan, D. W. (2008). Validation of a brief sense of community scale: Confirmation of the principal theory of sense of community. Journal of Community Psychology, 36, 61–73.

Powell, K.H. (2015). A theoretical exploration of PSOC in an ecological context: the town-grown example. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 1(2), 1-22.

Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theory and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 25, pp. 1-65). Academic Press.

Schwartz, S.H. (2007). Universalism values and the inclusiveness of our moral universe. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 38, 711-728.

Stivala, A., Robins, G., Kashima, Y., & Kirley, M. (2016). Diversity and community can coexist. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57(1-2), 243–254.

Tajfel, H., & Turner, J.C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel& W.S. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7-24). Nelson Hall.

Talo, C., Mannarini, T., & Rochira, A. (2014). Sense of community and community participation: A meta-analytic review. Social Indicators Research, 117(1), 1–28.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.