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10 Core American Values Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


A college profes­sor's analysis of basic values of the American people.
Charles H. Tidwell, Jr., PhD
Dean, Affili­ation and Extension Programs
Associate Registrar
Professor of English, Commun­ica­tion, Intern­ational Business

Values 1-5

1. Indivi­dua­lism
Belief that each person is unique, special and a “basic unit of nature”
Emphasis on individual initiative
Stress need for indepe­ndence
Premium on individual expression
Value privacy

2. Equality
Open society that ideally treats everyone equally
Little hierarchy
Directness in relations with others

3. Materi­alism
A “right” to be well off and physically comfor­table
Judge people by their posses­sions

4. Science and techno­logy
Values scientific approaches
Primary source of good
Major factor in change

5. Progress and change
Belief in changing self and country
“Manifest Destiny”
Optimism -- nothing is impossible


Values 6-10

6. Work and Leisure
Strong work ethic
Work is the basis of recogn­ition, power.
Idleness seen as a threat to society
Leisure is a reward for hard work

7. Compet­ition
Aggressive and compet­itive nature encouraged
Be First (#1) mentality

8. Mobility
A people on the move
Vertical (social / economic) as well as physical mobility

9. Volunt­eer­ism
Belief in helping others (related to equality concept)
Philanthropy admired
A personal choice not a communal expect­ation
Involves associ­ations / denomi­nations rather than kin-groups

10. Action and Achiev­ement oriented
Emphasis on getting things done
Priority on planning and setting goals
Tendency to be brief and business like,
Measure results
Focus on function and pragmatism