Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Personal Values, Traveler Personality Type, and Leisure Travel Style

Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Personal Values, Traveler Personality Type, and Leisure Travel Style

Article excerpt

Separate streams of research have emerged over the years comparing leisure behavior to personal values and to personality. For example, personal values have been used to predict a number of leisure behaviors including choice of recreation activities (Beatty, Kahle, Homer, & Mirsa, 1985; Boote, 1981; Jackson, 1973; Veroff, Douvan, & Kulka, 1981), selection of vacation destinations (Dalen, 1989; Klenosky, Gengler, & Mulvey, 1993; Muller, 1991; Pitts & Woodside, 1986; Shih, 1986), and choice of leisure activities engaged in while on vacation (Madrigal & Kahle, 1994). Likewise personality has also been related to leisure activity decisions (Allen, 1982; Driver & Knopf, 1977; Howard, 1976; Martin & Myrick, 1976; Moss, Shackelford, & Stokes, 1969) and travel decisions (Nickerson & Ellis, 1991; Plog, 1974).

Despite the interrelatedness of values and personality, little is known about the nature of the relationship (Drennan, 1983). The current paper sought to integrate these two separate, yet related, theoretical streams of research in the context of leisure travel. More specifically, the purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between Plog's (1972, 1991b) theory of traveler personality types and personal value theory. Two instruments, each commonly cited in the literature, were used. Traveler personality type was measured using Plog's (1972) five-item allocentrism-psychocentrism scale, and personal values were assessed using the List of Values (Kahle, 1983; Veroff et al, 1981). A secondary purpose of the study was to examine each measure's ability to differentiate group travelers from independent travelers.

Review of Literature

Personal Values

The study of personal values has been the focus of social science research for decades (Cantril & Allport, 1933; Duffy, 1940; Levitin, 1973). Values have been defined as abstract beliefs about behaviors or end-states of existence that transcend specific situations and guide the selection or evaluation of behavior and events (Rokeach, 1973; see Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, p. 551). Values are a type of social cognition (Kahle, 1983) that reflect internal states that intervene between stimuli and responses, and affect those responses (see Eagly & Chaiken, 1993).

Rokeach (1973) argued that once learned, values are hierarchically ordered into a system that differentially weights individual values by their perceived importance. Individuals rely on their value systems to maintain self-esteem of consistency in those situations where one or more conflicting values are activated. For example, a conflict arising between the values of excitement and security in a decision to participate in sky-diving would be resolved based on the priority given to each of those values in the individual's value system (Rokeach, 1979).

Because of their centrality to the individual's cognitive structure, personal values and value systems have long been recognized as effective predictors of human behavior in a variety of situational contexts (Parsons & Shils, 1951; Vernon & Allport, 1931). Social scientists have linked values to a number of behaviors, including cigarette smoking (Grube, Weir, Getzlaf, & Rokeach, 1984), religious behavior (Feather, 1984), consumer behavior (Henry, 1976; Homer & Kahle, 1988; Kahle, Beatty & Homer, 1986; Novak & MacEvoy, 1990; Kamakura & Mazzon, 1991; Kamakura & Novak, 1992; Vinson & Munson, 1976), charitable giving (Manzer & Miller, 1978), and political behavior (Feather, 1973; Rokeach, 1973; Tetlock, 1986). Personal values have also been related to leisure behavior. For example, Pottick (1983) reported that individuals valuing security most highly tended to be frustrated by leisure, whereas those favoring warm relationships with others benefited from leisure. Likewise, Beatty et al. (1985) reported that recreation activity preferences were successfully differentiated by respondents' prioritization of personal values. …

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