Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Perspective Taking and Empathic Concern Scales

 Davis developed a two dimensional approach to assess empathy with items measuring perspective taking and empathic concern.

Each item is measured on a five-point scale from 0 to 4. The anchor labels are "Does not describe me well" to "Describes me well." Some items are reversed scored.

There are 7 perspective taking items and 7 empathic concern items.

Related posts


     Perspective taking

Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index

Article Reference

Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of personality and social psychology, 44(1), 113.

Link to the scales:

Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020



It is no secret that the official position of the Catholic church opposes abortion. Many evangelicals groups also promote antiabortion positions.

The subject of abortion continues to divide Americans as evident in survey data. This has been highlighted recently with the addition of Justice Barrett to the Supreme Court—a judge known for her prolife advocacy. In the summer, Justice Thomas famously attacked the court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade (CNN).

In 2020, most Americans, the majority of whom are Christian, support abortion, though sizable percentages prefer laws that pose some limitations. Some important questions are not asked every year so, some data in the 2020 post refer to 2019, 2018, etc.

The Gallup organization has looked at variations in opinions about abortion. This is helpful as advances in medical science make it possible for the unborn to live outside the womb at younger and younger ages.

So, where do Americans stand on abortion?

79% support a legal abortion under any (29%) or certain circumstances (50%). A small percentage (20%) believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.

46% consider themselves prolife and 48%, prochoice. These numbers reflect a close split, especially considering statistical error. But notice how it compares with the 79% support number. Prolife people would appear to allow for abortion under certain circumstances. How questions are asked make a difference. (Read more about variations in positions.)

I study moral psychology so I found the Gallup question about moral acceptability interesting.

44% of Americans consider abortion morally acceptable and 9% reported it depends on the situation—47% opine abortion is morally wrong.

60% of Americans did not want Roe v. Wade overturned in 2019.

How you ask a question makes a difference in the answer you get.

Prolife is probably too vague a concept to be meaningful when it comes to understanding opinions about abortion.

There are more data so, head to the Gallup report for details.

 Read more about abortion

Prolife Movement Approaches Total War

The Faultline Hypothesis and Abortion

Abortion and Prolife 2019

Books on Abortion and Related Topics

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Biblical Literalism Scale

 The Biblical Literalism Scale (BLS) is a 10-item scale found in an article by Andrew Village (2005).

The content of the scale includes biblical events rated by participants on a scale as follows: ‘definitely happened’, ‘probably happened’, ‘not certain’, ‘probably a story’ or ‘definitely a story.’ High scores indicated a more literal belief.


The survey sample consisted of 404 Christian participants. Scores ranged from 10 (all of the items were rated as stories) to 50 (all items rated as “definitely happened”).

Old Testament items were rated as less literal than New Testament items. The average scores were highest in Evangelical churches and lowest in Anglo-Catholic churches.

Correlation of scores with other variables

BLS and frequent charismatic experience (r = .51) (note a)

BLS and frequent Bible reading (r = .47) (note b)

BLS and age (r = -.17)

BLS and education (r = -.14)

Women scored slightly on higher (39.8) literalism than did men (37.2), but the difference was statistically significant.

 Examples of items:

David killed a giant called Goliath.

Jonah was in the belly of a fish (or whale) for three days.

Jesus turned water into wine.


The author reported coefficient alpha = .92


Some items revealed a ceiling effect. For example, “Jesus’ mother was a virgin when she conceived Jesus.” M = 4.4 and SD  = 1.0.

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a. Related Post see Measuring Religious Fundamentalism

b. For research and scales measuring biblical fundamentalism, see Counseling and Psychotherapy with Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians


Village, A. (2005) Factors shaping biblical literalism: a study among Anglican laity. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 26:1, 29-38, DOI: 10.1080/13617670500047566

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Adult Decision Making Competence ADMC

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