I assume that you are referring to values as a set of principles, standards, or qualities that one would adhere to in conducting various aspects of one's life. Value is a noun so I suppose it is more a state of being pertaining to your basic character. Those kinds of values are learned as a child in observing the significant adults in their life. Your intention as to what kind of person you want to be is the result of your core values. I think people are more in touch with their intentions. Such as wanting to never be poor and being willing to do whatever it takes to make money. Someone else's intention may be to always be thought of as a good person even if it means not making a lot of money.
You wanted to know if people even know what their values are and that is hard to discern. Many of the "noble" values such as trust, loyalty, honesty, altruism are so faith based. These are things children learn through regular church or synagogue attendance and the family enforces it. We live in a time when church attendance is down and families with two working parents don't impact the values of their children as much as in the past. There seems to be a lack of accountability. Television, Video games and peers are the role models our children mirror. Money and success at any price seem prized.
I doubt that many people are cognitively guided by their values. But I do think their intentions are shaped by their values and thus impact their decision making process. I am not sure I am being very clear. It is sort of operating more out of "I want" versus "I believe".
I think that everyone has many different values and you are right, they do not understand how those values make them respond to everyday life. I value my friends, family, faith and life primarily and can see that these values help me decide many different things each and every day. I also understand that there are many more values that I have and some that will change as life changes. The one thing that is a constant in everyone's life is change.
It depends on the people themselves a lot .As some people value happiness, family,friends etc a lot and prefer them on other things.Some people are materialistic and value things like money and status etc.
I think that each of us has a life gift which we need to discover throughout the course of our lives. In some cases it is seen as a vocation ,a driving force towards discovering our niche in life. For me it was easy. I always wanted to be a nurse and i overcame many adversities and hardships to get there. I had to make sacrifices along the way which made me even more determined to get there. Others i know have found their gifts serendipitously. Moving from job to job until meeting with the catalyst that causes them to release their hidden talent. Unfortunately, many people never get to feel fulfilled and as a result end up in prisons or mundane existences which end up in suicide. I think our morality is shaped by our life experiences and the happier we are in our environments the more positive our contribution will be to our individual societies.
I think it is terribly unfortunate that most of the people I know do not understand what values or morals are. Heck, some of the people I know (as casual acquaintences) don't have any values to speak of, and neither do their children. They may seem to be happy to outsiders but are truly miserable people, what I like to call toxic people. One thing is for sure, I always steer clear of those folks!
I think those of us who were born to older parents (my mom was 39 and my dad 43 when I was born) who either came here from another country as very young children or who were first-generation Americans born to their families, had many more values instilled in them growing up.
We were taught not to complain, not to quit, to be quiet unless spoken to and to show no disrespect whatsoever to any of our elders, and if we strayed from these expectations we got into a lot of trouble not only with our folks, but also with our grandparents with whom the whole family either lived with or lived next door to, as well as hearing it from the rest of the relatives!
Some children today can be so mean and nasty to everyone, including their parents, and others are so loving and gentle. In our day, if we did something wrong we heard it and had trouble from everyone's mom on the way home from school (or church or wherever), and when we got home we got more trouble from our grandparents and our parents! Those were the good old days, when we had something to fear; it wasn't like it is today.
I miss the good old days. Sigh.
I think we were blessed to have been brought up in the "good old days", but I'm sure our children will tell their children the same thing and so on and so on.
God is good and this life is just WONDERFUL!!!!!
Blessings to you all.
Not many because i don't know mine or how to recinise them.