- Definition--a concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol.
- Descriptor--the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something.
|Example Use of Descriptor for Paint|
A descriptor seeks only to provide sufficient information about an entity so it can easily be identified when compared to other entities.
An alternate definition of descriptor is: "a piece of stored information that is used to identify an item in an information storage and retrieval system."
So when a descriptor is used with human values: "A value descriptor is a piece of information used to identify a particular value."
When formulating each value descriptor, the Key Affiliate team used a set of criteria to evaluate the efficacy (capacity or power to produce a desired effect) of each.To create efficaciousness value descriptors one must:
- Identify values which have like roles and work with the identified set of values. (For example, control/order/discipline, law/duty, law/guide, accountability/ethics, etc. all have an ordering role within their respective world-view -- each world-view has different beliefs about how the ordering should be effected, therefore, each world-view has a different value giving expression to the beliefs.) In working with the new descriptors for a set of values, we must ensure the role for each value within its world-view is maintained, and each descriptor clearly distinguishes each value in the set from the others.
- Keep the value label and its descriptor simple using more common-usage words. For example, Collaboration/ Subsidiarity could become Collaboration/ Delegation.
- Use word senses which are the most common interpretation of the word.
- Ensure the descriptor of a value makes it simple to distinguish it from other values, particularly from other values which have labels of like-senses such as, for example: Cooperation/Complementarity, Collaboration/Subsidiarity, and Interdependence.
- Not use other value labels within the descriptor.
- Not provide examples of how the value may be lived -- this narrows the descriptor and could bias its meaning.
- Ensure it facilitates the process of people working through the VAK questions to identify how they are living the value in their life.
- Is it simple?
- Is it constructed from common-usage words?
- Does it use words such that their most common meaning-sense is the sense intended?
- Does it faithfully describe its role in the world-view to which it belongs as a focus value - i.e. is it congruent with the beliefs of its worldview?
- Is it sufficiently different from other values whose labels have like-senses?
- Is it free of other value labels?
- Is it free of examples of how to live the value?
- Is it easily used with the VAK questions?
In IT jargon, a descriptor which meets a set of desired criteria, is be said to be well formed.