Over the last 30 years, an ongoing body of social survey research has tracked and forcasted the changing values, beliefs and motivations of the British population. Using the responses to over 1000 questions, we have developed a typology that explains the dynamics of personal, market and cultural changes.

The typology is called Values ModesTM.

The Values Modes categorize people into 12 discrete psychographic types. Each group represents between 7% and 12% of the population aged 15 years and over. The categorization is based on the responses to a short questionnaire (Lickert scales), which can be used in any piece of research and is easy to administer face-to-face, by telephone or on-line.

We license the use of the questionnaire to clients and third party companies - primarily research agencies - for use on customer and employee research. The process is simple. The responses are sent to us and the results returned within minutes or hours, depending on the complexity and size of the data file.

The 12 Values Modes - the VMs (pronounced "vims") - form a psychographic classification system based on individuals' Values sets. By the term "Values", we mean that nest of beliefs and motivations - largely subconscious - that underpin our attitudes to everything we encounter.

The VMs help answer the question of WHY people do the things and make the choices that they do.

This is a valuable understanding in itself but Cultural Dynamics takes this to a new level through its understanding of the dynamics of change that operate through the VMs. These changes, which occur at the level of the individual, aggregate in the population over time to form significant changes in organizational and societal (cultural) values.


At the heart of understanding these changes - these cultural dynamics - is the combination of empirical data, gathered from large surveys amongst the population at large, and the deceptively simple looking psychological theory of motivation developed by Abraham Maslow and summarized in his Hierarchy of Needs.

Within Maslow's hierarchy, we recognize three primary motivational levels - the Settler (Sustenance Driven), the Prospector (Outer Directed) and the Pioneer (Inner Directed). Within each of these, we discern four different four different "flavours" - the Values Modes.

Taken all together, this combination of theoretical and empirical understanding constitutes Dynamic Maslow Group TheoryTM.


The Settler (Sustenance Driven) needs are:

  • Core physiological needs.
  • Safety and Security.
  • Belonging.

The Settler Values Modes are:

Some typical Settler characteristics are:

  • Family and home, and caring for them, tend to be at the centre.
  • For those living alone, friends take the place of family.
  • Tradition and family structure are important.
  • Prefer things to be "normal".
  • Naturally conservative (with a small "c").
  • Security conscious - wary of crime, violence and terrorism.
  • Supportive of tough punishment for criminals.
  • Wary of change, especially for its own sake.
  • More comfortable with regular and routine situations.
  • Concerned about what the future holds.


The Prospector (Outer Directed) needs are:

  • Esteem of Others.
  • Self Esteem.

The Prospector Values Modes are:

Some typical Prospector characteristics are:

  • Success oriented.
  • Always want to "be the best" at what they are doing.
  • Welcome opportunities to show their abilities.
  • Take great pleasure in recognition and reward.
  • Look to maximise opportunities.
  • Will take opportunities for advancement and professional networking.
  • Trend and fashion conscious.
  • Like new ideas and new ways.
  • Generally optimistic about the future.


The Pioneer (Inner Directed) needs are:

  • Aesthetic cognitive.
  • Self Actualization.

The Pioneer Values Modes are:

Some typical Pioneer characteristics are:

  • Trying to put things together and understand the big picture.
  • Concerned about the environment, society, world poverty, etc.
  • Always looking for new questions and answers.
  • Strong internal sense of what is right and what is wrong.
  • Strong desire for fairness, justice and equality.
  • Self-assured and sense of self-agency.
  • Generally positive about change, if it seems worthwhile.
  • Cautiously optimistic about the future.