Intrinsic-Extrinsic Religious Orientation Revised 3-item


Scale name: Internal / External Religious Orientation Scale Revised 3-Item

Scale overview: 

The 3-item Revised Internal / External Religious Orientation Scale measures the degree to which people view their religion as important to their life [(Intrinsic (I)] or as a means to an end [(Extrinsic personally (Ep) or Extrinsic socially oriented (Es)].

Authors: Richard L. Gorsuch and Susan E. McPherson

Response Type: A 5-point rating scale with anchors labeled Strongly Disagree and Strongly Agree

Subscales: There are three subscales in the revised edition.

I = Intrinsic

Ep = Extrinsic personal

Es = Extrinsic social


The 3 subscale items

I = My whole approach to life is based upon my religion.

Ep = What religion offers me most is comfort in times of trouble and sorrow.

Es = I go to church mainly because I enjoy seeing people I know there.

Reliability: The larger 14-item scale from which the above three best items were drawn yielded high test-retest reliability values.

Validity: The authors used factor analysis to identify the three factors then selected the best item from each factor for the single item measures.

The content of the items is based on the theory of intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientations presented by Allport and Ross.

Availability: The scale is available on page 352 of the 1989 article.


Allport, G.W. & Ross, J.M. (1967). Personal religious orientation and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 423-433.

Gorsuch, R. L. & McPherson, S. E. (1989). Intrinsic/extrinsic measurement: I/E-Revised and single-item scales. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28, 348-354.


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