Thursday, May 31, 2018

How to Measure Compassion




Five survey items describing compassion.

A group of researchers in the Psychology Department of Santa Clara University identified five statements that reflect compassion. Of course, people may disagree with the idea that five sentences describe the concept, compassion. Nevertheless, the researchers did consider 21 statements and found that a set of five captures most of what people considered to be the essential components of compassion in a 2005 study by other researchers.

The short scale is known as the Santa Clara Brief Compassion Scale (SCBCS, Compassion Scale; Hwang, Plante, & Lackey, 2008). It was derived from the longer 21-item Compassionate Love Scale developed by Sprecher and Fehr (2005).

Although the scale has been used in Psychology of Religion research, the items do not limit users to compassion in a religious context.

Sample items

You can find the full scale at the Journal’s website. Following are two items from the scale.



Scoring

The Compassion Scale asks respondents to rate each item on a scale of 1 to 7, which yields a possible range of 5 to 35 points. In research with my colleagues Kayla Jordan and Ev Worthington (2014), we found Christians rated themselves at the high end with a mean of 28.69 (SD = 5.46). Measures of Skew (-1.10) and Kurtosis (1.26) were adequate for analyses but less than ideal.

Educators, researchers, and students may want to add a this brief compassion scale to their survey projects.



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 Reliability

Internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) values were reported as .96 for the longer version and .90 for the new five-item short version. Using the test-retest method, the authors reported values of .80 and .83.
In our 2014 study, we found alpha = .89.

Validity

Validity statistics support the value of the Compassion Scale as a reasonable indicator of the construct and useful for various surveys and other research projects.
For example, in our table of correlations, the total score on the Compassion Scale was significantly positively correlated with, yet distinct from forgiveness (.25), hope (.18), and intrinsic religiosity (.26). See the table of 11 measures for additional correlations (page 218 of Sutton, Jordan, & Worthington, 2014).

Organizational and Clinical Practice

Although the scale has been used in research, the items may also be useful to help clinicians think about the level of compassion in their clients. The scale may also be useful to leaders in social organizations. As can be seen, the language of the scale does not limit its usage to strictly religious studies.


References
Hwang, J., Plante, T., & Lackey, K. (2008). The development of the Santa Clara Brief Compassion Scale: An abbreviation of Sprecher and Fehr's Compassionate Love Scale. Pastoral Psychology, 56, 421-428. doi:10.1007/s11089-008-0117-2
Sprecher, S., & Fehr, B. (2005). Compassionate love for close others and humanity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22, 629–651.
Sutton, G. W., Jordan, K., & Worthington, E.L., Jr. (2014). Spirituality, hope, compassion, and forgiveness: Contributions of Pentecostal spirituality to godly love. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 33, 212-226. Academia Link     ResearchGate 
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Measuring Pentecostal & Charismatic Spirituality




One area of the Psychology of Religion that has been understudied is Pentecostal and Charismatic spirituality. As you might suspect, researchers will define these terms in various ways and, indeed, there are varied beliefs and practices around the world amongst people who identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.

If outsiders know anything about these "people of the Spirit," they may think of people who speak in tongues, which has become a well-known phenomenon that has made its way into novels and movies.

An additional phenomenon is divine healing. Belief in miracles has marked the Christian faith since its inception. And many Christians believe in prayer for healing. Nevertheless, there has been an emphasis amongst Pentecostals and Charismatics to believe not only that God heals but also that some people are blessed with a gift of healing. The practice usually involves anointing with olive oil followed by prayer for the sick.

In this post, I report on three subscales that my colleagues and I have found useful in survey projects aimed at understanding the relationship of Pentecostal and Charismatic spirituality to other factors. I will report the items with their subscales and our internal consistency values (Chronbach's alpha). I will also report the references to our publications so they can be cited appropriately.

The original publication of the scales is in Sutton, Jordan, and Worthington (2014). In that article you will find our analyses of scale structure, correlations with other variables, and prediction of two factors considered germane to Christianity -- love represented by measures of compassion and forgiveness. A second publication examined only only the Service and Healing subscales in a study of Christian counselors (Sutton, Arnzen, and Kelly, 2016).

Readers have permission to use these scales and items in research and teaching by simply citing the references below.

Christian Service Subscale = 3 items
     Alpha = .99 and .82 (Sutton, Jordan, Worthington 2014)
     Alpha = 78 (Sutton, Arnzen, Kelly, 2016)


1. I am an effective witness for my faith.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree

2. I am an effective teacher in a church or small group.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree

3. I am an effective leader or administrator in a church or small group.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree



Spiritual Gifting Subscale = 4 items
     Alpha = .79 (Sutton, Jordan, Worthington 2014)


1. I speak in tongues.
Strongly Disagree      1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree

2. I interpret tongues spoken by others.
Strongly Disagree      1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree

3. I have known things about others that only God could have known.
Strongly Disagree      1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree

4. I have spoken a prophesy.
Strongly Disagree      1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree


Healing subscale = 5 items
     Alpha = .79; (Sutton, Jordan, Worthington 2014)
     Alpha = .70 (Sutton, Arnzen, Kelly, 2016)

      1. I have been healed of a physical condition.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree
2. I have been healed of depression or anxiety.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree
3. I have been delivered from a sinful habit.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree
4. I have been led by God to pray for the sick or hurting.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree
5. I have prayed for the sick and they’ve been healed.
Strongly Disagree 1          2          3          4          5          Strongly Agree

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REFERENCES

Sutton, G. W. (2017). Creating surveys: Evaluating programs and reading research. Springfield: Sunflower. AMAZON Paperback ISBN-10: 1522012729  ISBN-13:  9781522012726 website

Sutton, G. W., Arnzen, C., & Kelly, H. (2016). Christian counseling and psychotherapy: Components of clinician spirituality that predict type of Christian intervention. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 35, 204-214. Academia Link    ResearchGate Link

Sutton, G. W., Jordan, K., & Worthington, E.L., Jr. (2014). Spirituality, hope, compassion, and forgiveness: Contributions of Pentecostal spirituality to godly love. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 33, 212-226. Academia Link     ResearchGate  

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My Page    www.suttong.com

My Books  
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FACEBOOK  
 Geoff W. Sutton

TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton

LinkedIN Geoffrey Sutton  PhD

Publications (many free downloads)
     
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