Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Leicht, Kevin T

First Committee Member

Hitlin, Steven

Second Committee Member

Sauder, Michael

Third Committee Member

Bills, David

Fourth Committee Member

An, Brian


The aim of this dissertation is to analyze how modernization theory of values change and capitalist ideology affect individuals' attitudes toward generosity. Because generosity is a concept rooted in our human value system, it would be worthwhile attempting to explain the interplay between individuals' values and larger socio-economic environment. From modernization theory explanations of values change, it is expected that noble, higher-order values such as generosity will receive more approval and support as economic pressures decline as result of economic development. However, individuals' values are also being influenced by principles of the specific type of economic ideology embraced in each country around the world. This study will explain how the different types of capitalist ideology impact individuals' values. In relation to these, it is suggested that the notion of `economic ideology' should be taken into consideration as a factor interacting with the modernization thesis of values change in influencing individuals' predisposition toward generosity. An economic ideology motivates behavior and determines norms for many human interactions. In this study, `economic ideology' is constructed as the interaction between capitalism characteristics and materialistic values. One hypothesis suggests that capitalism is negatively correlated with the emergence or advancement of generosity. A second hypothesis, examines whether the effect of capitalism is moderated through the presence of materialistic values or specific type of economic ideology. Within this enquiry the study uses a cross-national and a multilevel approach that mainly concentrates on the analysis of the World Values Survey which presents a broad examination of cross-national differences. The results indicate the validity of the economic ideology effect. Initially, at the individual level capitalism is associated significantly, albeit weakly, to generosity. When this relationship is allowed to vary across countries, then capitalism coefficient is not significant. Nevertheless, when the original argument about the influence of the economic ideology on individuals' values is considered, the new model modifies the previously reported results. The capitalism coefficient not only turns out to be significant, but also changes the direction of its coefficient demonstrating the moderating effect of the economic ideology hypothesis.


Capitalism, Cross-National, Generosity, Materialism, Values


viii, 138 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 130-138).


Copyright 2014 Jorge Alberto Chavez Rojas

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Sociology Commons