The AVI evolved out of the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values. This document provides
some details of the validation, relevant to the AVI, which was carried out on the
Hall-Tonna. The material presented has been adapted from:
Hall, B., Harari, O., Ledig, B. & Tondow, M. 1986, Manual for the Hall-Tonna
Inventory of Values, Paulist Press, New Jersey.
The Hall Tonna Inventory of Values was built on four premises:
values are an important component of human existence and can be identified
values are described through words;
values are learned and developed through assimilation; and
values are modified and shaped by our world-view.
Values are an integral part of human existence; as such they relate to every aspect
of life. Values can be viewed as priorities that relate to a persons’ behaviour;
specifically, they are the priorities one is motivated to act upon.
Over a twenty-year period of research into the nature of values, Brian Hall and
Benjamin Tonna came to identify 125 values that encompass the critical values that
have the potential to appear in the life long growth and development of an individual.
Specifically, they concluded:
Values are an expression of concepts (i.e. personal constructs) that represent dynamic
clusters of energy.
Values are described by those words in a language that convey significant personal
meaning. This meaning carries with it a certain psychological energy that
activates a persons’ behaviour.
Values are learned and can be measured.
Brian Hall began investigating the nature of values in the mid 1960’s. At
that time he was an overseas missionary for the Anglican Church. As part of
his initial work he spent a year at the cultural research centre in Cuernavaca,
Mexico where he came under the influence of Paolo Friere, Ivan Illich, and Eric
Following in Friere’s footsteps, Hall began to seek out and assess the underlying
values present in the community in Central America. He did this by gathering
people together to discuss the issues, problems, and opportunities facing them and
listening for emotionally laden words. For Friere, these words were the central
factor of conscientization in spoken language. Later, Hall identified these
words as pointers to dynamic clusters of energy inherent in the language.
He called these values. Hall came to believe that words that represented this
energy were common in all languages and are not limited to a particular population.
Over a period of twenty years he and his team at Omega Associates have identified
125 values that appear to be stable and evident across all samples and populations.
Hall’s work with Ivan Illich involved him in a sociological survey of the church
and social institutions in Venezuela. From this experience he recognized the
fact that values are not simply internally chosen, but are often imposed and internalised
through the institutions which are a part of a person’s life. This insight
had a direct effect on the development of the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values.
Through his relationship with Eric Fromm, Hall became interested in the analytical
process as it relates to language. As a part of his continuing studies he
underwent psychoanalysis, both in English and in Spanish, with Dr. Alfaro Sotela.
These experiences laid the groundwork that ultimately resulted in the Hall-Tonna
Inventory of Values.
A major influence on Hall’s work came several years later from Benjamin Tonna, Lic.,
D., who was Executive Director of SEDOS, a large documentation centre in Rome.
Tonna, a sociologist, was seeking a method to collect quality information which
he defined as information whose values content is evident. In the process
of collecting information and looking at the inherent values in that information.
Tonna found that it is the questions raised by the values, rather than the solution,
that is of prime importance. Tonna’s contribution led to further development
of the Inventory in the form of prioritising the values and listing discernment
questions for the individual’s consideration. Discernment is defined as
a method of information retrieval; or, how to make the best possible decision given
the available information. The Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values,
then, assesses each respondent’s perspective on the world in terms of values.
On that basis, a series of life questions are presented based on the values the
person chose. These questions enable clients to work with the instrument in
order to gain further information about themselves in the area of values development
(much as existing instrumentation assist in identifying cognitive and personality
Between 1974 and 1980 Hall and Tonna conducted extensive seminars and explorations
of value theory in the United States and Europe. They discovered that values
are cross-disciplinary and cross cultural. Preliminary testing of the Hall-Tonna
Inventory of Values around the world indicated that the values measured are not
idiosyncratic to one particular culture or population.
In 1979 Hall began teaching at the University of Santa Clara (now Santa Clara University)
in the graduate Counselling Psychology and Education program and used the inventory
didactically. The inventory and resulting output underwent several iterations
prior to its present form. In addition, in 1983 the Hall-Tonna Inventory of
Values was subjected to a series of specific standardization procedures. Through
a series of group interactions at the University, the 125 values were given standardized
definitions. Next, a cross disciplinary team compared each of the 308 value
selectors in the inventory to the value definition that stands behind the statement.
Through this process the value statements and definitions were refined and modified.
The inventory was field tested and refined by administering the Inventory to some
For a full and complete discussion of the theory and rationale upon which the Hall-Tonna
Inventory of Values is based, the reader is referred to The Genesis Effect:
Personal and Organizational Transformations, by Brian P. Hall (Paulist Press, 1986).
Reliability and Validity
Since the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values taps complex and abstract concepts, construct
validation was the strategy chosen. Construct validity “…integrates criterion
and content considerations in a common framework for testing rational hypotheses
about theoretically relevant relationships” (Messick, 1980, p. 1015). The validation
strategy for the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values has been described in detail by
Harari in The Genesis Effect (Hall, 1986). Briefly, the steps included the
Format, language, and style of all instructions and items
in the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values were empirically pre-tested. This was
done by presenting the Hall-Tonna to committees of native users who analysed and
(in conjunction with the researchers) revised the instrument sentence-by-sentence
and word by word until complete consensus in understanding was attained.
Test-retest reliability was obtained from a sample of 89 individuals ranging from high school students to adults, all from diverse backgrounds. The time interval between test and retest was four weeks. Using specific value choices as raw scores, the test-retest correlation was .66, an acceptable figure considering the number and heterogeneity of the values in the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values. Using developmental levels as raw scores, the test-retest correlation improved to .75. Using specific responses to specific items as raw scores, the test-retest correlation was a respectable .72.
Internal consistency reliabilities were computed using two versions of coefficient alpha (see Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 1982, for rationale and formulae). Version 1 estimated split-half reliability when the variances for the two halves of the instrument are considered unequal. Version 2 was the more general model of coefficient alpha, one that averages the split-half reliability estimates obtained by dividing the test in all possible ways. Results from using the raw score categories described above are summarized in Table 1.
Type of scoring
Version 1, alpha
Version 2, alpha
Table 1. Comparative Reliability Measures
The results indicated a strong consistency in the pattern of data across the three
types of raw score categories. Clearly, the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values
is most consistent in assessing developmental levels [Note: the AVI uses “world-view”
rather than developmental level] and somewhat less consistent, although still acceptable,
in assessing specific values. The high consistency of developmental level is most
critical to the stated purpose of the Hall-Tonna.
The fact that the test-retest correlations are lower than the coefficient alpha
correlations is not surprising. Internal consistency measures are based on
one administration of an instrument while test-retest measures are based on two
There are at least two possible reasons why an individual’s responses might change
from the first testing to the second. First, change may be due to unsystematic
effects, e.g., differences in how a person feels while completing the inventory,
or differences in the setting and administration of the instrument. Change
may also be due to non-random effects, e.g., retention of items or familiarity with
the instrument, or real changes in the person’s value orientation or world-views
between the times of the two administrations. It was concluded that the preliminary
test-retest and internal consistency reliabilities all fell within the desired range.
This is particularly noteworthy since the coefficient alpha generally provides the
lowest, most conservative estimate of reliability that can be expected (Cornbach,
1951 and Allen & Yen, 1979).
The instructions ask people to respond according to their situation at the time
of testing. Thus, the responses may be expected to change over time as the
individual’s life situation changes. Test-retest correlation of item responses
and values any higher than those reported would have been disappointing in that
it would have been an indication of non-responsiveness to changes in people’s value
orientation over time.
Norm data have been extensively sampled. Thus far,
approximately 20 norm group populations consisting of over 2,000 people have been
given the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values in order to ascertain the extent of predictable
subgroup differences. Norm data include samples as diverse as engineers, church
leaders, fire fighters, Catholic divorcees, and military recruiters. As will
be reported, norm data also have been broken down by age and sex. Moreover,
only the individuals who took both the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values and the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey
Survey of Values generate the data reported in this manual. Hence part of
the validation process reported here includes comparisons of Hall-Tonna results
and Allport-Vernon-Lidzey results. The comparison findings are highly supportive
of the proposition that the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values really does measure what
it purports to measure.
Some important issues about validation strategy must be addressed. It is important
to remember that the “validation” phase of the Hall-Tonna has been going on for
more than 20 years. This section of the manual deals with only the more formal
efforts that have been occurring during the past two years. This is not to
suggest that prior efforts did not assist in “validation”. There have been
countless variations of an instrument of values that slowly grew via myriad samplings,
both formal and informal, in cities and villages around the world. We refer
also to the rich body of theory-building which accompanied these efforts over the
past 20 years where each change in theory resulted in the evolution of a modified
instrument, which was again given to samples and focus groups, and so on.
In order to maintain the integrity of the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values it was
necessary to go beyond the “raw empiricism” which might dilute or subvert the essence
of the values. Thus, validation efforts have followed a hybrid strategy.
On one hand, the general working model that has been followed is an established
and rigorous approach to validation. Simultaneously, however, it has been
necessary to recognize that this domain of inquiry includes complex constructs such
as global spiritual descriptions. The depth, heterogeneity, and richness of
the value clusters have had to be maintained despite the fact that by definition
many of these values are complex, ambiguous, and highly conceptual. Hence,
while using accepted methodological and psychometric steps as a frame of reference,
it has also been important to avoid any moves that would simplify, distort, or confound
the value constructs themselves.
The authors and publishers are committed to the proposition that neither the Hall-Tonna
Inventory of Values nor the validation steps will ever be “completed” and static;
rather, they will be continually refined.
These ongoing efforts at validity and reliability have been the hallmarks of the
most widely used psychometric instruments. For example, over the past 40 years
more than 8,000 articles have been published on the MMPI. During this time
the number of scales used with the instrument has grown from 12 to over 200.
Independence of the 125 values
A major concern in the development of the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values was that
each of the values represents a different domain of the spectrum of attitudes and
feelings generally subsumed under the term values. To check this, inter-correlations
(125 by 125) were run on the norm groups. The correlations for each group
were quite similar and all the groups were combined and the inter-correlations were
run for the total group (n=703). The correlations are universally low, ranging
from .00 to .50. This low correlation indicates that each of the 125 values
is independent and does, in fact, measure a different aspect of the values spectrum.
It also highlights the very broad spectrum of inner life (feelings and thoughts)
that the Hall-Tonna encompasses.
RELATING THE HALL-TONNA TO THE AVL STUDY OF VALUES
As part of the validation study, Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values scores and AVL Study
of Values scores were compared on eleven groups. Because there are differences
in the value categories of both instruments some adjustments were necessary.
Throughout, as would be expected in the correlation validity, there is overlap between
the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values, and the Study of Values (AVL). However,
due to broader domain of values and the much greater number of value categories
in the Hall-Tonna, which leads to finer resolution, there are some notable differences
between the two instruments. For example:
The AVL’s category of “Economic”, (“The economic man is characteristically interested
in what is useful”), is much more limited and generalized than the Hall-Tonna value
set. Most of the AVL categories (Economic, Religious, etc.,) are limited in
scope. The listing above typifies the greater coverage of the Hall-Tonna.
Examples of values in the Hall-Tonna, which are not addressed in any way in the
AVL, are (Self) Actualization and World Order. Indeed, often values in the Hall-Tonna
cannot even be compared to the six categories in the AVL because there is no logical
fit. Life/(Self) Actualization, Integration/Wholeness, and Expressiveness/Freedom/Joy
are just three examples of values that have no obvious correlates in the AVL typology.
AVLStudy of Values
Inventory of Values
An analysis of the value categories of the Hall-Tonna Inventory of Values and the
AVL Study of Values indicates the following:
- Each of the broad categories in the AVL is more specifically
itemized by a number of values in the Hall-Tonna.
- There are a number of additional values in the Hall-Tonna
which do not neatly fit into any one AVL category, but rather encompass more than
one AVL category, or are not addressed at all in the AVL.
- There are a number of additional values in the Hall-Tonna
which may on the surface appear to fit into the AVL value category but in reality
do no, because they transcend the meanings of the categories defined by the AVL.
What remains are the Hall-Tonna values that do in fact correspond with the AVL:
- The AVL Theoretical category corresponds with the following
Hall-Tonna values: (Self) Competence/Confidence, Education/Certification,
While such Hall-Tonna values as Knowledge/Discovery/Isight, Research/Originality/Knowledge,
and Education/Knowledge/Insight are theoretical, these include the integration of
knowledge and discoveries into creative organizational structures. Likewise,
Convivial Technology is a theoretical value but it includes global complexity.
The AVL definition defines theoretical as the pursuit of truth but without any ethical
judgement or practical application other than systematization. Therefore these
HTI theoretical values go beyond the meaning of the AVL definition.
- The AVL Economic category corresponds with the following
Hall-Tonna values: (Self) Preservation, Security, Economics/Profit, Property/Control,
Productivity, Economics/Success and Ownership.
The AVL Aesthetic category corresponds with the following
Hall-Tonna values: Wonder/Curiosity/Nature, Design/Pattern/Order, Independence,
Art/Beauty as Pure Value.
The Hall-Tonna value of Research/Originality/Knowledge is an aesthetic value of
creativity, but it cannot be included here because it is more expansive and complex
than the AVL category. As in many of the Hall-Tonna values, the definitions
become more wholistic and transcend the AVL categories. As in this example,
Research/Originality/Knowledge was mentioned as a theoretical value and again here
as aesthetic, but in both cases it is more differentiated, more precise, and more
wholistic than any AVL concept. This configurable aspect results from the
wider theoretical scope encompassed by the Hall-Tonna.
The AVL Social category corresponds with the following Hall-Tonna
values: Family/Belonging, Friendship/Belonging, Care/Nurture, Empathy, Sharing/Listening/Trust,
Personal Authority/Honesty and Adaptability/Flexibility are social values of the
Hall-Tonna that include more complex differentiation into the area of personal development
that is not included in the AVL. Likewise, Human Dignity is a social value
but goes beyond the AVL definition of love for people by including the concept of
addressing injustice through some course of action that corrects unjust conditions.
While some HTI social category values may correspond partially to the AVL definitions,
they include a high degree of personal integration and self-knowledge not specifically
included in the AVL definition.
The AVL Political category corresponds with the following
Hall-Tonna values: (Self) Interest/Control, Social Affirmation, Achievement/Success,
The AVL Religious category corresponds with the following
Hall-Tonna values: Wonder/Awe/Fate, Rights Respect, Worship/Faith/Creed, Limitation/Acceptance,
The HTI values of Limitation/Acceptance, Limitation/Celebration, Presence/Dwelling,
Contemplation/Asceticism as well as Detachment/Solitude, Intimacy/Solitude as Unitive,
Generosity/Service (overlapping with the social category) and Prophet/Vision are
religious values that may be seen to correspond with the AVL definitions, however
the AVL definitions again don’t state the world views that are explicit in these
Hall-Tonna values. These views include detachment in order to enrich the quality
of one’s life as well as one’s relationships with others. They also indicate
a larger, more global awareness of reality that has practical implications for active
and interdependent involvement with others to take responsibility for the created
Summary of the Comparison
Many of the Hall-Tonna values transcend the AVL categories. For example, the
Hall-Tonna value of Mission/Objectives is “the ability to establish organizational
goals and execute long term planning that takes into consideration the needs of
society and how the organization contributes to those needs.” Such a value
includes the AVL theoretical category since it requires basic education and skills
of rationality and technology; it includes the economic category of business and
efficiency as foundations of the organization; it may include the aesthetic category
in terms of elegance of design and order; it includes the social category in terms
of caring for others by making this love manifest in practical ways that have positive
impact; it includes the political category as well as the religious. Likewise,
the definitions and many other Hall-Tonna values can be seen to transcend the limits
of the AVL categories.