Investigating Human Values in Online Communities


Human values play a vital role as an analytical tool in social sciences, enabling the study of diverse dimensions within society as a whole and among individual communities. This paper addresses the limitations of traditional survey-based studies of human values by proposing a computational application of Schwartz’s values framework to Reddit, a platform organized into distinct online communities. After ensuring the reliability of automated value extraction tools for Reddit content, we automatically annotate six million posts across 10,000 subreddits with Schwartz values. Our analysis unveils both previously recorded and novel insights into the values prevalent within various online communities. For instance, when examining subreddits with differing opinions on controversial topics, we discover higher universalism values in the Vegan subreddit compared to Carnivores. Additionally, our study of geographically specific subreddits highlights the correlation between traditional values and conservative U.S. states.

CoRR, abs/2402.14177