The value for Life (VfL) hypothesis and the Value for Life Scale (VfLS): Conceptualization, development and initial validation
Recent trends of violence in societies across the world have given rise to renewed interests by scholars across disciplines in research on peace, conflict, tolerance and other violence-related concepts. Levels of tolerance across cultures and religions have also greatly decreased and this turn of events has necessitated inquiry into the real value of and for life. We hypothesize that individuals’ value for life (their lives, the lives of other humans as well as the lives of other living things) has serious indications and implications across levels of tolerance, suicidal/genocidal behaviours, murder intentions, commitment to climate change mitigation, stereotypes, prejudice and psychopathy. However, value for life as a concept has received little or no scientific exploration and therefore little is known about how value for life may be influencing individuals’ day to day cognitions, attitudes and behaviors. If the influence of value for life is to be determined scientifically, a psychometrically sound and valid measure of the concept is required. In this study, we present the premise alongside evidence for the need of a psychological enquiry into Value for Life. We also offer the theoretical framework around which further studies in the area of Value for life may revolve. Finally, we present evidence for the reliability, validity and factor structure of the value for life scale (VfLS) developed to assess individuals’ self-reported value for life. The reliability and validity (established using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, including construct validity) in three studies supported the utility of the Value for Life Scale. We encourage other researchers to conduct investigations on the postulations of the hypothesis and obtain further psychometric indices for the measure of value for life.