Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Michael R. Bertoch


Michael R. Bertoch


The focus of the study was to investigate the nature of the apparent inconsistency reported in the literature on the relationship between personality variables and indices of religiosity. The literature indicates that indices of religiosity have been associated with labels both of "desirable" and "undesirable" personality traits to varying degrees, and no definitive conclusions have been thus far reached. The study suggested that the inconsistent evidence has been a result of a narrow definition of personality functioning and a broad definition of religiosity that has not allowed an adequate test of the relationship between personality and religiosity. The study developed the notion that a multidimensional personality measure (California Psychological Inventory -- CPI) paired with (1) a theoretically precise and psychometrically researched index of religiosity (i.e., Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale -- IRMS) and (2) a traditional index of religiosity (i.e., denominational membership) might provide new information relative to the relationship between religiosity and personality.

The CPI and the IRMS were administered to 108 male and female Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints (LDS) and Presbyterian denominational members. CPI subscale scores and IRMS scores were analyzed by a Pearson product-moment correlational analysis, a univariate analysis of variance, and a step-wise multiple discriminate analysis. Significant correlations between IRMS scores and CPI subscale scores were found; however the variance explained was not sufficient to be of theoretical use. There were statistically significant mean differences among denominations (Baptists, LOS, Presbyterians) and between types of religious motivation (intrinsics and extrinsics defined by an IRMS score median split) on the CPI subscales. It was noted that all CPI subscale means fell within the normal range and were not clinically significant. Subjects characterized by denominational membership and religious motivation were characterized by normal personality functioning. Discriminant functions were computed which predicted group membership based on the CPI subscales at accuracy levels between 63.7% and 87.5%. It was argued that tests available to researchers do not allow an adequate test of the relationship between personality and religiosity. It was recommended that researchers study the relationship between religiosity and personality by directly examining subjects' behaviors in combination with utilizing test inventories.



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