Examining the circumplex value structure and the person-environment value congruence hypothesis in Middle Eastern and North-African (MENA) countries

Hisham M. Abu-Rayya, Nils Tobias Henschel, Azzam Amin, Klaus Boehnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study is set forth to address two objectives first, to examine the quasi-circumplex value structure in a sample of six Middle Eastern and North-African (MENA) countries (Jordan, Tunisia, Sudan, Palestine, Egypt, and Morocco; N = 800 in each), and second, to test whether the degree of fit between individuals’ pursued values and those values (i.e., the congruence hypothesis) prevailing in their society predicts their level of wellbeing. To address the first objective, we applied multi-dimensional scaling, and to address the second objective we operationalized value congruence as the difference between people's individual value score and their country-level average, assessing the effect of value congruence by conducting response surface analysis with facets of wellbeing as outcomes and personal and reference-group value priorities as predictors. Data for this study were derived from the Arab Psychology Index (API) which applied a stratified random sampling to obtain representative samples from the participating countries in 2019-2020. Our results indicate that the theorized quasi-circumplex structure of human values could not be replicated in MENA countries and the degree and specific nature of this deviation varies between MENA countries. Study results lend support to the congruence hypothesis, and this was true across the three indicators of wellbeing deployed (flourishing, prosociality, and social relations), although the support was stronger for social relations, less so for proscociality, and least for flourishing. Insights into these findings are offered and theoretical implications of the findings to are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100176
JournalCurrent Research in Ecological and Social Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • Arab countries
  • Basic human values
  • MENA region
  • Value congruence
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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