Exploring citizen perceptions and values for a responsible society. By: Zelenkovski, Kiril; Prodanova, Jana and Kocarev, Ljupco. 2024. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell). Vol. 105 Issue 2, p296-310.

Aims: Citizens’ perceived values play a decisive role in shaping a responsive society, driving social and political attitudes and behaviors. Understanding these values, influenced by cultural, historical, and personal experiences, is essential for comprehending public perspectives on social, economic, and ecological aspects crucial for sustainable societies. This study investigates perceived values as indicators of citizens’ potential civic engagement, mainly contributing to societal development. Materials and methods: For the purpose of this study, we analyzed 1012 cases from the European Value Survey/World Value Survey data set of the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to the exploratory factor analysis and cluster analysis, we employed XGBoost regression, coupled with SHAP analysis, offering a transparent exploration of the significance of citizens’ perceived values, while emphasizing their role in motivating social responsibility and duty. Results: We identified 12 factors and categorized Macedonian citizens into 4 clusters. Through the SHAP feature importance method, we determined that perceptions of gender stereotypes, trust in people, civil rights, and job equality strongly influence the idea of social responsibility. Conclusions: Our findings offer pathways to promote individual accountability and increased participation in societal actions, fostering greater advocacy and policy changes for a responsible, engaged, and sustainable society.