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Rokeach (1973) developed a hierarchical meaning system, upon which the categorization of the SOMP instrument, as used in this study, is based. He proposes four levels of meaning: the lowest level is that of self-preoccupation with hedonistic pleasures and personal comforts; a second level, containing sources reflecting the realization of personal potential; a third level, containing sources which move beyond the realm of self interests into areas that involve service to others and dedication to larger, societal or political causes; and a fourth level that incorporates values that transcend the self and others and encompass cosmic meaning and ultimate purpose.
# ROKEACH, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: Free Press.
For the purposes of this paper, the 16 items have been grouped, heuristically, into six categories of meaning, using as a base Rokeach’ s four levels. It is emphasized that these categories serve heuristic or interpretive purposes only and have not been submitted to statistical analysis.
Sources of personal meaning in Life Profile - SOMP (levels based upon Rokeach, 1973)
Item 15. Participation in `hedonistic’ activities (e.g. gambling, parties, etc.)
Item 16. Acquiring material possessions in order to enjoy the good life
Item 2. Meeting basic everyday needs
Item 13. Feeling financially secure
Item 5. Being acknowledged for personal achievements
Item 6. Experiencing personal growth
Item 1. Participation in leisure activities
Item 3. Taking part in creative activities
Item 4. Engaging in personal relationships with family and/or friends
Item 8. Interest in social causes
Item 9. Being of service to others
Item 10. Preserving human values and ideals
Item 11. Preservation of culture and tradition
Item 14. Interest in human rights (humanistic concerns)
Item 7. Taking part in religious activities
Item 12. Leaving a legacy for the next generation