Personality profile and religion?

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Personality profile and religion?

Postby Timpeeters » Tue Nov 25, 2003 11:44 am

Introduction



In psychology of religion, religiosity has been measured by the frequency of church-attendance or by measuring the belief in the existence of a transcendent reality. Whereas most world religions proclaim brotherly love to be the core of their religious message, history has shown us that religion has often been used as a justification of violence. This is probably the most important paradox within this research area. Some theoreticians even say religion is a major catalyst for prejudice, racism en so on. However Hutsebaut (1996; 1998; 2000) introduced a new approach to shed some light on the internal structure of religiosity, the above-mentioned paradox, and several other inconsistencies (Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers, 2003): the two-dimensional approach to religiosity (Duriez, 2002; Hutsebaut; Fontaine, Duriez, Luyten, & Hutsebaut, 2003).

This model (Fontaine et al., 2003) is measured by the Post-Critical Belief Scale, PCB (Duriez, Fontaine & Hutsebaut, 2002; Hutsebaut, 1996) and is based on the heuristic model of Wulff (1991, 1997). After an intensive study of different approaches of religion in psychology, Wulff (1991, 1997) developed a heuristic model that attempts to summaries the approaches in two orthogonal bipolar dimensions. On the one hen, the vertical axis in this model is the dimension of Exclusion versus Inclusion of Transcendence. By this axis Wulff tried to capture the distinction whether or not a participant is religious or spiritual. Hence, inclusion of transcendence refers to the participation and belief in a transcendent reality. On the other hen, the horizontal axis, the Literal versus Symbolic dimension, refers to the way religious expression can be interpreted: a participant can make an interpretation in a literal or symbolic way. Hence, this dimension can be seen as a kind of cognitive comprehension: the way in which religious contents are processed. As a result four quadrants can be formulated (Figure 1). Each of these quadrants covers a specific way of approach to religion: Literal Affirmation, Literal Disaffirmation, Symbolic Affirmation (also called Reductive Interpretation),andSymbolic Disaffirmation (also called Restorative Interpretation).



Figure 1



Wulff’s Model (1991, 1997)



INCLUSION







LITERAL

AFFIRMATION





LITERAL






SYMBOLIC AFFIRMATION





SYMBOLIC






LITERAL

DISAFFIRMATION












SYMBOLIC DISAFFIRMATION


EXCLUSION



Participants in the first quadrant, Literal Affirmation, are persons who affirm the literal existence of a transcendent reality. Participants in the second quadrant, Literal Disaffirmation, are persons who deny the literal existence of a transcendent reality. People in these two quadrants can both be considered as fundamentalists. Participants who don’t believe in a transcendent reality, but who nevertheless hold the possibility of a symbolic meaning of words, should be located in the third quadrant, Symbolic Disaffirmation. Finally, people in the last quadrant, Symbolic Affirmation, affirm the existence of a transcendent reality, but at the same time they try to encompass and transcend reductive interpretations in order to find a symbolic meaning that has personal relevance in the religious language. Hutsebaut (1996) constructed the Post-Critical Belief Scale (PCB) as an operationalisation of Wulff’s heuristic model (1991). In this model there are four scales: Orthodoxy, External Critique, Relativism, and Second Naivité. These scales are considered to be equivalent to the four quadrants of Wulff’s model, respectively Literal Affirmation, Literal Disaffirmation, Symbolic Affirmation, and Symbolic Disaffirmation. Duriez, Fontaine, & Hutsebaut (2000) have shown that the four scales of the PCB provide accurate measures of Wulff’s model. Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers (2003), Fontaine et al. (2002) have shown that two dimensions, as in the above mentioned proposition, are sufficient to explain the empirical relation between the items of the PCB.



Figure 2



Hutsebaut’s Model (1991, 1999)



INCLUSION







ORTHODOXY



LITERAL






SECOND NAIVITÉ




SYMBOLIC






EXTERNAL CRITIQUE












RELATIVISM


EXCLUSION







Ever since the earliest studies concerning individual differences in personality, psychologists of religion have examined the relationship between religiosity and personality. In the psychology of personality, two major models of personality have to be considered: the Three Factor Model of Eysenck & Eysenck (1968, 1985) and the Five Factor Model of Costa en McCrae (1978, 1992, 1995). In the Three Factor Model of Eysenck, three underlying dimensions explain personality: Psychoticism, Extraversion, and Neuroticism (PEN). According to Costa & McCrae (1995), Eysenck (1998) and Eysenck & Eysenck (1985), Neuroticism is concerned with emotional instability, and includes elements such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and tension; Extraversion is a measure of sociability and impulsivity components; Psychoticism is concerned with a lack of impulse control. In the latter model, the so called Big Five of Personality, the Psychoticism factor has been divided into two factors: Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and there has been added a fifth factor, Openness to Experience. In this model Neuroticism reflects distinct ways of reacting emotionally to distressing situations. Extraversion reflects traits associated with energy and enthusiasm. Openness to Experience appraises responses to different kinds of experience. Agreeableness is presumed to measure different kinds of attitudes in relation to interpersonal interaction. Finally, Conscientiousness is considered to be the factor that measures differences between motivation and persistence (Costa & McCrae, 1978, 1992, 1995; Kosek, 1999, 2000; Saroglou, 2002; Saroglou & Hutsebaut, 2001).

The NEO-FFI, which is used in this research, is a questionnaire and is designed to measure the Five Factor Model of Eysenck. Although most of these studies were exploratory in nature, the results were not always consistent, and the conclusions rather fragmented (Saroglou, 2002; Duriez & Soenens, 2002). Nevertheless some of the conclusions have been able to shed light on the relationship between religiosity and personality (Duriez & Soenens; 2002). Early studies about this relationship used the Three Factor Model (Eysenck, 1985). Eysenck & Eysenck (1968; 1985) confirmed in some way that different kinds of religiosity correspond to differences in personality traits. Although some studies (Chau, Johnson, Bowers, et al., 1990; D’Onofrio, Eaves, Murelle, et al., 1999; Heaven, 1990; Robinson, 1990) failed to do so, other studies, in a variety of cultures and denominations, confirmed Eysenck’s finding. Religious people tend to score lower on Psychoticism (Francis, 1992a, 1992b, 1993; Francis & Katz, 1992; Francis & Perason, 1993; Francis & Wilcox, 1994; Lewis & Joseph, 1994; Lewis & Maltby, 1995, 1996; Maltby, 1999a, 1999b). Research concerning the other two dimensions resulted in inconsistent leading researchers to conclude that these factors are unrelated to religiosity (Eysenck, 1998; Francis, 1992b).

Studies using the Five Factor Model of personality produced a slightly different result. In many studies (see the meta-analysis of Saroglou, 2002; Kosek, 1999, 2000; Taylor & McDonald, 1999), religiousness is positively related to Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, although these correlations are low (Saroglou, 2002) or sometimes even absent (Streyffeler & McNally, 1998; Saucier & Goldberg, 1998). This also confirms the hypothesis of the low correlation between Psychoticism and religion in the Three Factor Model. Although in most of the studies no significant relation between religion and other factors of the Five Factor Model (Saroglou, 2002) has been found, other studies suggest that religious people should be situated high on some of the other factors as well (Duriez, 2002; McCrae, 1999; Taylor & MacDonald, 1999). Religiosity was weakly correlated with Extraversion, and there was a small but significant effect size regarding Openness to Experience (Saroglou, 2002). Saroglou (2002) as well McCrae (1996; 1999) mentioned the complex but clear pattern of relation between religion and Openness to Experience. Participants who have high scores on Openness to Experience are associated with “open and mature religion” (Saroglou, 2002). Saroglou (2002) also mentioned the striking result that religious fundamentalists are associated with low Openness to Experience. This factor has to be examined in further research. However, one should take into consideration that most of the above-mentioned results have been found in studies in which researchers have been working with a uni-dimensional model. The innovative aspect of the Post-Critical Belief Scale is the proposed two-dimensional structure of religiosity. Although in line with previous research, where none of the five factors of personality correlate significantly with religiosity as it was measured by the Literal vs. Symbolic dimension, a significant correlation with Openness to Experience was found. This is in line with Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers (2003), McCrae (1996, 1999), McCrae, Zimmermann, Costa, & Bond, (1996), and Saroglou (2002) Duriez, Luyten, Snauwaert, Hutsebaut (2002), who expected Openness to Experience to be crucial in order to understand the relation between religiosity and personality.



Hypotheses

Although, because the model of Hutsebaut's is relatively new and, therefore not much research has been done, is formulating hypotheses a rather tentative business, we nevertheless tried to make at least some predictions. Based on the suggestions of McCrae (1996, 1999), and based on the meta-analysis of Saroglou (2002), in which they wrote that individuals who have high scores on Openness to Experience, have a more mature way of religious behaviour, we propose the hypothesis that individuals, who have a attitude toward religion in which a strong symbolic interpretation (Relativism and Second Naivité) can been found, are also characterised by a hugh confidence in their selves and a great curiosity toward new experiences. This is also confirmed by research in which individuals with an open mind to religion, i.e. individuals who deal with religion in a personal and in a symbolic way, have a more or less open attitude in general (Duriez 2002; McCrae, 1999). Moreover, it has been proved that individuals who have an a strong symbolic interpretation-attitude toward religion (Relativism and Second Naivité) (Duriez, 2000; 2002) have less Need for Closure, what is linked to Openness to Experience. Therefore, we expect that individuals, who are situated in the Relativism- and Second Naivité-quadrants, score higher on Openness to Experience than those who are situated in the two other groups (Orthodoxy and External Critique).

We expect the same pattern for the factor Agreeableness. We presuppose that individuals, who are dealing with religious texts on a very symbolic way (Relativism- and Second Naivité), score higher on the factor Agreeableness than those individuals who are situated in the other groups. Previous research suggested that this personalitytrait is correlated positively with liberal thinking (McCrae, 1999), as well with empathy (Duriez, 2002). Moreover, these two variables also correlate in a positive way with symbolic thinking. Based on the meta-analysis of Saroglou (2002) in which was mentioned that religious people have higher scores on Conscientiousness tan non-religious people, we propose the hypothesis that individuals who believe in a transcendent reality (Orthodoxy and Second Naivité) score higher on this factor than people who don’t (External Critique and Relativism).

Since the results of previous research on the factors Extraversion and Neuroticism were very inconsistent, we don’t formulate any hypotheses concerning these two factors.



Method



Sample



Participants were 336 students who attend higher education in Belgium, ranging in age from 19 to 26 with a mean of 20, and where 50% are female. All participants were Flemish-speaking and of Belgian nationality. Participation was not obligatory and no course credit was given. Anonymity and confidentiality were guaranteed, in line with Belgian privacy laws. In this sample, 10.8% of the participants attend religious services regularly (at least once a month, compared to about 10% in the general Flemish population according to the Belgian Office of Church Statistics). Church is attended from time to time (less than once a month) by 22.6 % of the participants and hardly ever by 66.7% of the participants. In this sample, 87.2% of the parents of the participants are married and living together, almost 10% of the parents are divorced or in the middle of the divorce process, and 3.0% of the participants has lost one or both parents. Also in this sample, 96.7% of the participants had higher education, of whom 78.9% did university studies. The educational level was high compared to that of the Flemish population due to the specific characteristics of the sample (students).





Measures



Post –Critical Belief Scale As a religiosity measure, all participants completed the revised 33-item Post-Critical Belief Scale (Duriez et al., 2000; Hutsebaut, 1996). The PCB provides measures of Orthodoxy (e.g., "Mary was a virgin, even if this is not compatible with modern thinking"), External Critique (e.g., "Religious faith is a sign of weakness"), Relativism (e.g., "Secular and religious conceptions of the world give valuable answers to important questions about life"), and Second Naivité (e.g., "The historical accuracy of the stories from the Bible is irrelevant for my belief in God "). The 33 items are rated on a 7-point Likert scale (1= completely opposed, 7= completely in agreement). Of these items, 8 try to capture Orthodoxy (O1, O2, O3, O4, O5, O6, O7 and O8), 9 items External Critique (E1, E2, E3, E4, E7, E8, E9, E10 and E11), 8 items Relativism (R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R10 and R11) and another 8 items Second Naivité (S1, S2, S3, S5, S6, S7, S8 and S9).

The internal consistency (Cronbach‘s Alpha) of these four quadrants is for Orthodoxy, External Critique, Relativism and Second Naivité respectively .72 (M=2.02, SD = .81) .78 (M = 3.67, SD = .94), .61 (M = 5.10, SD = .76) and .76 (M = 4.28, SD = 1.09). However, Fontaine et al. (2003) have shown that the PCB also provides measures of the two basic religiosity dimensions Wulff (1991, 1997) identified (see above). In this way, the effects of being religious or not (Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence) can be disentangled from the way in which religious contents are dealt with (either in a literal or in a symbolic way). For the purpose of the present study, we decided to derive the two underlying dimensions of the PCB (Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence and Literal vs. Symbolic) by means of factor analysis (Varimax rotation) as well as the four subscales (cf. the procedure described by Duriez et al., 2000). A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was then carried out. A scree test (Cattell, 1966) pointed to a two-componential solution. However, since PCA allows freedom of rotation, the componential structures obtained in different samples cannot be compared straightforwardly. Therefore, this structure was subjected to an orthogonal rotation (Varimax rotation). Hence, these components could be interpreted as Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Tran­scen­dence and Literal vs. Symbolic respectively. Although the first part of the analysis was done by using the traditional unweighted sum of item scores, which indicated a two factor solution proposed like the one in Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers (2003), the second part of the analysis was done by using factor scores. This guarantees a reliability equal to or greater than the one that is obtained by using an unweighted sum of item scores (see Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers, 2003). An unweighted sum score does not allow items to contribute differentially to a construct. In contrast, factor scores allow some items to make a greater contribution to the construct than other items. In this way, they are based on all the items included in the Post-Critical Belief Scale instead of only on some of them. Hence, the scores that are derived to represent an individual's position in Wulff's model are not only more reliable but also more accurate. The construction of these weighted scores is described in Duriez, Soenens, & Beyers (2003). After a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was carried out on these corrected scores, and a scree test (Cattell, 1966) pointed out a two-componential solution, the structure was subjected to an orthogonal Procrustes rotation (McCrae et al., 1996; Schonemann, 1966) towards the average structure reported by Fontaine et al. (2003). Although the Tucker's Phi indices were not calculated, these components could be interpreted as Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Tran­scen­dence and Literal vs. Symbolic respectively.

Religiosity Scale As a second measure of religiosity, participants completed five items, which are all considered to be a classic way of measuring religiosity. A scale out of these five items was made in order to determine the best kind of measure. Although the internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha) is .85, the correlation between this religiosity scale and the two PCB -dimensions is .65 (p < .0001) for Inclusion versus Exclusion of Transcendence and .32 (p < .0001) for Literal versus Symbolic. Therefore it can be concluded that this scale is not a good measure of religiosity. Moreover, this observation underlines the necessity of another and more accurate measurement.



Personality Questionnaire The participants also completed the authorized Flemish version of the NEO-FFI (Hoekstra, Ormel, & De Fruyt, 1996). It provides measures for the five factors of personality of Costa and McCrae (1995). This version has been validated over Flemish speaking Belgian and Dutch samples and tried to cover the original US version as closely as possible. The NEO-FFI consists of five scales: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience. The 60 items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale (1= completely opposed, 7= completely in agreement). Of the 60 items, 12 try to capture Neuroticism, 12 items try to capture Extraversion, 12 items try to capture Agreeableness, another 12 items try to capture Conscientiousness, and the last 12 items try to capture Openness to Experience. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha) of these five scales Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Openness to experience are respectively .87; .82; .72, .78, and .70. The internal consistency of Openness to Experience can be ameliorated to .74 when items 02, 06 and 08 are left out. Neuroticism is positively related to Openness to Experience (r = .03, n.s.) and negatively to Extraversion (r = -.40, p < .0001), Agreeableness (r=-.10, n.s.) and Conscientiousness (r = -.19, p < .001). Extraversion is related positively to Openness to Experience (r= .05, n.s.), Agreeableness (r= .30, p < .0001), Conscientiousness (r= .25, p < .0001). Openness to Experience is related positively to Agreeableness (r= .10, n.s.) and negatively to Conscientiousness (r= -.07, n.s.). Agreeableness is related positively to Conscientiousness (r = .23, p <. 0001).





Results

4.1. Descriptive aspects
4.1.1. Factor analysis and Internal Consistency of the Neo-FFI and the PCB
Factor analysis NEO-FFI

In this sample, we have checked the internal structure of the Neo-FFI using the Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Based on the results of the Screetest (Cattell, 1966), and on the results of previous research, that has shown thah five factors were always found, we decided to take five factors into our research. After Varimax rotation, these factors are clearly interpretable. We have found the same factors as these what are proposed in the Five Factors of personalityModel of Costa & McCrae (1978, 1992, 1995). The Eigenvalues of the five rotated factors are for Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience respectively 5.79; 4.78; 3.72; 4.31 and 3.68. The proportion of explained variation is for these factors respectively 10%; 8%; 6%; 7% and 6%, which results in a total explained variation of 37%.

Internal consistency of the NEO-FFI

The Internal consistency (Cronbach‘s Alpha) of the five factors of personality is .87, .82, .72, .78 and .70 for respectively Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience. The Internal consistency of Openness to Experience can be increased to.74 when the Openness to Experience -items 02, 06 and 08 are skiped from the questionnaire. Moreover, when we’ve done an extra factor analysis on the items of the Openness to Experience–factor, it seems to us we can divide these items into two groups. This new-made scale has an Alpha of Cronbach of .74, which is a higher one than the original one (Alpha-coefficient = .70). We’ve decided not to use this new-made scale, because there is no reference to it in scientific literature and because we suppose the results would be too much depended to the sample. Instead, we use the original scale, which had an Alpha van Cronbach (.70), what was already an acceptable tough not an extreme good result. In this sample, Neuroticism is correlated negatively to Extraversion (r = -.40, p < .0001) and to Conscientiousness (r = -.19, p < .001). Extraversion is correlated positively to Agreeableness (r = .30, p < .0001) and to Conscientiousness (r = .25, p < .0001). Agreeableness is correlated positively to Conscientiousness (r = .23, p <.0001).



Factor analysis Post Critical Believe Scale

In our study, we’ve examined the data for the presence of a two bipolar dimension (with the four subscales at the ends of the two dimension) of the PCB (the procedure: see Duriez et al., 2000) by mean of a Principal Components Analysis (PCA) with Varimaxrotation. We have found two factors. At the negative side of the first factor, we can situate the subscale External Critique and at the positive side the subscale Second Naivité. At the negative side of the second factor, we can situate the subscale Orthodoxy, and the subscale Relativism at the other side, the positive side. The Screetest (Cattell, 1966) pointed out a two-componential solution. This solution is difficult to compare to componential solutions of other samples. Therefore, we decided to do an orthogonal rotation (Varimax). The two-dimensional structure as well the four subscales, as described by Duriez et al. (2000) and by Duriez et al. (2001), has been found. The Eigenvalues of the two Varimax rotated factors are 6.44 and 5.10 and the proportion explained variation respectively 20% and 15% which results in a total proportion explained variation of .35.

Internal consistency of the PCB

The internal consistency (Cronbach‘s Alpha) of the four subscales of the PCB is .72, .78, .61 and .76 for respectively Orthodoxy, External Critique, Relativism and Second Naivité. Orthodoxy is correlated significant negatively to Relativism (r = -.45, p< .0001) and significant positively to Second Naivité (r = .18; p< .001). External Critique is correlated significant negatively to Second Naivité (r = .55; p < .0001). This scale is also correlated positively (r = .20 p< .001) to Relativism.



4.1.2. Means
In Table 1, we find the means of the different kind of personalityfactors of the whole sample. A significant gender-difference can be found in four of five factors. Women score significant higher on Neuroticism than men do. Moreover, women also score higher on the factors Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness than men do. In this sample, there is no significant gender-difference found on the factor Openness to Experience.



-- Table 1 –



4.1.3. Creation of the PCB-categories
In order to check a personality-profile for the different subscales of the PCB, we decided to split the participants into four groups. This procedure is based on standard-scores (Z-scores), by which we can classify each participant in only one category (i.e. group). First, by standardizing the rough scores, we can check the real score on the PCB of an individual, relatively to the general score. Secondly, we create groups on the ground of the highest individual Z-score in one of the four subscales of the PCB. E.g. someone whose highest individual Z-score is situated on the Orthodoxy subscale, can be classified in the Orthodoxy-group. Mutatis mutandis for all the other groups. In the present study, this procedure has been done for the very first time with these measurements.

In Table 2, we find the numbers of participants situated in the four groups of the PCB. C2 is .73 (df = 3; p = .87), therefore, we can say that there are no significant differences between the numbers of each group. Moreover, the hypothesis concerning the gender-differences is not significant. Therefore, we can say that there are no gender-differences between the four groups C2 = 2.90 (df = 3; p = .41).



--Table 2—



4.1.4. Interactions between PCB and gender


Because of the significant differences in three of the five personality factors, we also examined the existence of gender as a mediator variable for the correlations between the four PCB-categories with the five personalityfactors. For this purpose, we don’t only examine the interactions between gender and the PCB-categories by doing five ANOVAs, searching for effects of gender on the PCB-categories, but we also examine the interaction between these variables. The interaction between the two independent variables is not significant, so we can say that there are no significant gender-differences in relation to the PCB-categories and the five personality factors. Starting from this point in the analysis till the end of it, we will continue to work with the whole sample, i.e. without dividing the sample into two parts on ground of gender.



4.2. Primary Analysis
For the primary analysis, we used a between group-design (a one-way MANOVA). In the present study, the independent variables are the PCB-subscales and the dependent variable is the five personality factors together. First, we measured the general effect of the PCB-categories on the personality factors. The resultats are showing us a significant multivariate effect of the personality factors for the PCB quadrants. Using the Wilk’s Lambda can see this. The value of this measure is .83 [F(15, 900) = 4.12 and p = .0001], which means that there is a significant general effect of the four PCB-subscales on the five personality factors. It is a more conservative way of testing than using five simple ANOVAs together. In the latter, the total Type-I error would increase to [1-(1-a)k=1- (1- .95)5=] .2263.



If we take the five personality factors as dependent variable and each of the four PCB-categories as independent variable and making some ANOVAs, we will find a significant effect of the PCB-subscales for the factors Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness. The F-statistics are respectively F(3, 330) = 8.70 [p = .0001]; F(3, 330) = 5.13 [p = .002] and F(3, 330) = 5.13 [p = .002] for Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness and Agreeableness. Finally, we’ll search for a significant effect of the PCB on the three factors between the four subscales by using post hoc the Tukey procedure. Using the factor Openness to Experience, we found, as mentioned in the hypothesis, that especially individuals, who are religious, and their faith is characterized by a strong symbolic interpretation (Relativism and Second Naivité), score high significant on Openness to Experience. This individuals are strong confident with them selves and are very curious toward new experiences. As expected, we find more high scores on the factor Agreeableness with individuals from the Relativism-group than with the individuals from the Orthodoxy- and the External Critique-group. However, the scores of the individuals from the Second Naivité-group are not higher than these from the Relativism-group. As expected, individuals from the Orthodoxy – and the Second Naivité-group score higher on the factor Conscientiousness than individuals from the External Critique-group. But in contrast with our hypothesis, they don’t score significant higher than individuals from the Relativism-group. As mentioned-above, there are no significant differences between the four subscales of the PCB for the personality factors Neuroticism and Extraversion.



--Table 3—



5. Discussion
5.1. Aims
By using the two-dimensional measure of religiosity (Hutsebaut, 1996), we‘ve tried to find a pattern in terms of the five personality factors. Based on previous research (Costa & McCrae, 1995; Duriez, 2002; McCrae, 1999; Saroglou, 2002), it is known that individuals who score high on Openness to Experience, deal with religion and religious texts on a more mature way than those individuals who don’t score high on this factor. Therefore we suggested that people who deal with religion and religious texts in a symbolic way (Relativism and Second Naivité), are also characterized by a strong confidence with them selves and are very curious toward new experiences. The same pattern was expected with the factor Agreeableness. Based on previous research, it seemed that this personality factor is correlated positively with liberal thinking (McCrae, 1999), as well with empathy (Duriez, 2002). Therefore, we expected a positive correlation between the factor Agreeableness and the way people handle with religion in a symbolic way (Relativism and Second Naivité). Saroglou (2002) mentioned in his meta-analysis that religious people score higher on the factor Conscientiousness. Therefore, we made the hypothesis of a positive correlation between this factor and the subscales Orthodoxy and Second Naivité. Finally, we didn’t make any hypothesis about Neuroticism nor about Extraversion, based on the inconsistent results we‘ve found in previous research.

5.2. Hypotheses
The factor Openness to Experience is, consistent to the proposed hypothesis, especially associated with the way people are dealing with religiosity and religious texts. The more people are used to deal with it in a symbolic way (Relativism and Second Naivité), the more they are self-confident and more curious toward new experiences. As expected, individuals from the Relativism-group score higher factor on the factor Agreeableness than the individuals from the Orthodoxy - and the External Critique-group. In contrast to what we expected, individuals from the Second Naivité-group didn’t score higher on the factor than those from the Orthodoxy – and the External Critique-group. Only the individuals from the Orthodoxy - and Second Naivité-group score higher on the factor Conscientiousness than those from the External Critique-group but they didn’t score higher than those from the Relativism-group. Considering these results, the hypothesis is only partially confirmed. The four attitudes toward religion didn’t differ significantly for Neuroticism nor for Extraversion. Previous research with the factor Neuroticism (see Saroglou, 2002) is not very consistent. The factor Extraversion is, considering the previous research with social cognitive factors, not very relevant for our research.

5.3. Profiles
In Table 3, we’ve tried to make a profile for the four subscales in terms of the five personality factors. Individuals situated in the Orthodoxy-group, are showing not much openness to new experiences in their lives and are not very curious to new experiences. Moreover, these individuals are not enough familiar with aspects from their own culture so that they can react on accurate way. Also, these individuals are in not very pleasant to get on with. Individuals from of the External Critique-group are not very curious toward new experiences as well. They are not very nice to get on with. Individuals from the External Critique-group don’t have lot of scruples compared to the three other groups. A significant difference between the Orthodoxy- and the External Critique- groups on the one hand, and the Relativism- and Second Naivité-groups on the other hand, has been found in the factors Openness to Experience and Agreeableness. Individuals from the Relativism- and the Second Naivité-groups have higher score on these factors than the individuals from the two other groups (the Orthodoxy- and the External Critique- groups). But at the same time, it is very hard to make a difference between the individuals from the Relativism- and those from the Second Naivité-group. Although, there are not many differences between these groups, the major difference is situated in the way these individuals can react in and are confident with their selves, so they can react in curious way on new experiences. Carefully formulated, we suggest that individuals who are situated in the Relativism- and Second Naivité-group, are better adapted what is concerned the personality factors than the individuals who are situated in the two other groups (Orthodoxy and External Critique). We therefore suggest to use some other factors in future research thereby to get a better distinction of the two groups of Relativism and Second Naivité.



5.4. Weaknesses, aspects in favour of the present study, and suggestions for future research


In this study we’ve used a two-dimensional measurement for religiosity. We have tried to measure not only the classical way to religiosity (e.g. how often do you go to church), but also the way people are used to handle with religion and religious questions (symbolic or literal interpretation).



Moreover, in this study, we’ve worked for the very first time with the PCB and groups made on the basis of standard scores. We assigned the participants in the group, in which they have the highest score on. By doing so, we’ve tried to find a personality-profile for each of the four different ways people handle with religion and religious texts. Therefore, we are interested in interindividual differences in order to divide a clear distinct profile for all of the four groups.



Because the results can vary very differently in different samples, in future research, the results, found in this sample, have still to be confirmed in other samples. This can been regarded as a weakness of the present study. Another procedure of classifying the participants can lead to another profile. In the present study, someone who is assigned to one group, can still have his or her highest rough score in another group. Therefore, a score of an individual has to be explained in relation to the mean-score of the sample. Moreover, researchers have to check whether or not someone, who is classified on the ground of the above-mentioned procedure, is really a member of the pointed group.



In future research, we have to search for mediator-variables that are not yet in the present study. On the ground of previous research (Berzonsky, 1990), we expect a positive correlation between Openness to Experience and Symbolic thinking. We also expect that this correlation is mediated by Information-Oriented Identity style, a concept derived from Berzonsky’s theory (1990). The partially found positively correlation between Agreeableness and Symbolic action in religion could be mediated by empathy[1]. Furthermore, the relation between related concepts as Need for Closure and other factors in the present study has still to be examined as well. An other major concern in future research is to differentiate the results of the two personality factors Relativism and Second Naivité.



The universal-cultural status of the five personality factors has already been shown in previous research (McCrae, 1999), though it is not for the PCB and the correlations found with the five personality factors. Therefore future research has to be done in different kind of denominations andin different cultures.



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Tables:
Table 1

Correlations between the Subscales of the PCB, the NEO-FFI and a Scale of Religiosity

Scales
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

1. Inclusion


1








2. Literal


0
1







3. Religiosity


.65***
.32***
1






4. Neuroticism


.15*
-.02
.13
1





5. Extraversion
.03
.11
.14
-.40***
1




6. Openness


-.09
.33***
.16*
.03
.05
1



7. Agreeableness
-.05
.29***
.08
-.10
.30***
.10
1


8. Conscientiousness
.18*
.15*
.20**
-.19**
.25***
-.07
.23***
1


Note. Inclusion is short for inclusion versus exclusion, Literal for literal versus symbolic, and Openness for Openness to Experience.

* p < .01. ** p < .001. *** p < .0001

















Table 2

Correlations between the four dimensions of the PCB, NEO-FFI and the Scale of Religiosity


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

1. Orthodoxy


1










2. Ext. Critique


-.13
1









3. Relativism
-.45***
.12
1








4. Se. Naivité
.18**
-.55***
.20**
1







5. Religiosity
.35***
-.60***
-.11
.59***
1






6. Neuroticism


.08
-.02
-.13
.13
.12
1





7. Extraversion
.03
-.10
.11
.08
.17*
-.40***
1




8. Openness
-.20**
-.11
.28***
.14
.12
.03
.05
1



9. Agreeableness
-.22***
-.18**
.17*
.13
.10
-.10
.30***
.10
1


10. Conscientiousness
.13
-.17*
.05
.23***
.22***
-.19**
.25***
-.07
.23***
1


Note. Se. Naivité is short for Second Naivité, Ext. Critique for External Critique, Inclusion for inclusion versus exclusion, Literal for literal versus symbolic, and Openness for Openness to Experience.

* p < .01. ** p < .001. *** p < .0001.























Table 3

Means of the Scales of the Post-Critical Belief Scale, and NEO-FFI Scales

Factors
Orthodoxy
External
Critique
Relativism
Second Naivité
F(3,330)

Neuroticism
35.75
33.89
32.65
35.14
2.41

Extraversion
43.51
42.72
44.52
43.07
1.26

Openness to Experience
35.75c
36.90bc
39.67a
39.02ab
8.70****

Conscientiousness
41.95a
38.79b
41.26a
41.50a
5.13*

Agreeableness
42.36ab
42.31b
44.56a
44.08ab
4.11*


Note. Mean in the same row that do not share the same subscript differ at a certain p-level in the Tukey honestly significant difference comparison.

***p < .001. *p < .01





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] In other analyses we could already confirm this suggestion.
Lic. Psych. T. Peeters
Timpeeters
 
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