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Values vs. Beliefs — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 28, 2023
Values are principles guiding behavior, while beliefs are convictions held as true, regardless of evidence.
Values vs. Beliefs — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Values and Beliefs


Key Differences

Both Values and Beliefs are deeply held convictions that shape individual and collective actions. Values serve as a compass, guiding how one behaves, reacts, and interacts. For instance, if one values honesty, they might always speak the truth, even if it is difficult. This core value then informs their actions, choices, and judgments, setting a standard for behavior.
Beliefs, conversely, are rooted in an individual's understanding and perception of reality. They determine how one interprets the world. For example, a person might believe that luck plays a significant role in success. This belief, even if not universally true, becomes a lens through which that individual views achievements and failures.
At times, Values and Beliefs intersect. An individual's beliefs can influence their values and vice versa. Someone might believe in the existence of a higher power, and this belief could instill in them a value of reverence or spirituality. However, while values dictate behavior, beliefs shape perception.
It is worth noting that both Values and Beliefs are often acquired from societal norms, culture, upbringing, personal experiences, and reflections. As individuals grow and evolve, so too can their values and beliefs, reshaping their actions and worldviews over time. Fundamentally, while values guide our external actions in relation to the world, beliefs guide our internal understanding of it.

Comparison Chart


Principles or standards guiding behavior
Convictions held as true regardless of evidence

Influence On

Behavior, actions, reactions
Perception, interpretation, understanding

Rooted In

Moral understanding, societal norms
Individual's understanding and perception of reality


Can change based on life experiences
Tend to be deeply held, but can evolve over time


Honesty, integrity, compassion
Belief in fate, belief in a higher power

Compare with Definitions


Moral standards shaping behavior.
She stood by her values, refusing to lie for personal gain.


Convictions accepted as true.
His beliefs in supernatural events often surprised others.


Principles considered of utmost importance.
Integrity and kindness are his core values.


Understandings shaping perceptions.
His beliefs about hard work's virtues were instilled in him by his parents.


Fundamental beliefs driving actions.
The community's values emphasized cooperation and mutual respect.


Opinions or convictions.
She expressed her beliefs about the new policy during the meeting.


Ethical benchmarks guiding decisions.
The company's values include sustainability and customer satisfaction.


Acceptance of a statement's veracity.
Despite the rumors, her beliefs remained unshaken.


An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.


Trust or confidence in someone or something.
She has strong beliefs in her team's capabilities.


Monetary or material worth
The fluctuating value of gold and silver.


The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another
My belief in you is as strong as ever.


Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor; utility or merit
The value of an education.


Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something
His explanation of what happened defies belief.


Often values A principle or standard, as of behavior, that is considered important or desirable
"The speech was a summons back to the patrician values of restraint and responsibility" (Jonathan Alter).


Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.


Precise meaning or import, as of a word.


Plural of belief


(Mathematics) A quantity or number expressed by an algebraic term.


(Music) The relative duration of a tone or rest.


The relative darkness or lightness of a color. See Table at color.


(Linguistics) The sound quality of a letter or diphthong.


One of a series of specified values
Issued a stamp of new value.


To determine or estimate the worth or value of; appraise.


To regard highly; esteem
I value your advice.


To rate according to relative estimate of worth or desirability; evaluate
Valued health above money.


To assign a value to (a unit of currency, for example).


Of or relating to the practice of investing in individual securities that, according to some fundamental measure, such as book value, appear to be relatively less expensive than comparable securities.


Relating to or consisting of principles or standards
A value system.


Inflection of value


Beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something);
He has very conservatives values


Criteria used to evaluate worth or importance.
In their culture, family and tradition are paramount values.

Common Curiosities

How are beliefs different from values?

Beliefs are convictions seen as true, while values guide behavior.

Can values change over time?

Yes, values can evolve based on experiences and reflections.

What are values in simple terms?

Principles or standards guiding behavior.

Are beliefs always rooted in truth?

Not necessarily; beliefs are individual convictions, irrespective of universal truth.

Can one's beliefs impact their values?

Yes, deeply held beliefs can shape and influence values.

Why are beliefs important in shaping perceptions?

Beliefs act as a lens through which individuals interpret and understand the world.

Is it possible for an organization to have values?

Yes, many organizations have core values guiding their missions and operations.

How do values influence actions?

Values serve as a moral compass, directing behavior and decisions.

How are societal norms related to values?

Societal norms often help shape and reinforce certain values within individuals.

Can two people have conflicting beliefs but share values?

Absolutely. People might interpret the world differently but still uphold similar principles in behavior.

Where do beliefs originate?

From upbringing, culture, personal experiences, and individual reflections.

Can beliefs be proven wrong?

Some beliefs can be challenged by evidence, but others are subjective and personal.

Do values always lead to positive actions?

Values are subjective; what's positive to one might not be to another.

Can values conflict with beliefs?

Yes, at times, personal values might clash with deeply held beliefs, leading to internal conflicts.

How do cultural differences influence values and beliefs?

Cultural background can significantly shape and dictate both values and beliefs.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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