Showing posts with label Christian beliefs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian beliefs. Show all posts

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.

Findings:

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.

Reliability

The author reported coefficient alpha = .92

Comment

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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Notes

a. Related Post see Measuring Religious Fundamentalism

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

Reference

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

 Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index


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Monday, August 28, 2017

Measuring Religious Fundamentalism

Photo by Geoff W. Sutton, 2017
Researchers define religious fundamentalism in different ways. One recent model focuses on the way religious people view their sacred text. I have written about the Intratextual Fundamentalism model in a previous post (October 2013). In this post, I provide some data related to the 5-item version of the Intratextual Fundamentalism Scale (IFS), which I have found useful in research projects.


The revised version of the scale (IFS) has five items--each measuring a dimension of intratextuality (Williamson, Hood, Ahmad, Sadiq, & Hill, 2010). Here are the five dimensions (from my previous blog):

  1. Divine: The sacred text is a revelation from God (or of divine origin) to humans. Regardless of the involvement of people in the writing of the text, God (or a deity) is the author.
  2. Inerrant: The sacred text does not contain errors, inconsistencies, or contradictions. The text is objectively true.
  3. Privileged: The sacred text of the fundamentalist group is not just another sacred writing. It is the truth. Fundamentalists may show respect to people from other religions and their sacred writings but they do not consider other texts to be on the same level as their own text.
  4. Authoritative:  The sacred text is the final authority. If a conflict in belief arises, the sacred text wins.
  5. Unchanging: The sacred text is unchangeable and true for eternity. The truths are absolutes. The truths can be depended on to understand the world and as a guide for life.
You can find the scale items in the article by Williamson et al. (2010)--See reference below.


Reliability and Validity Data

In a recent study (Sutton, Kelly, Griffin, Worthington & Dinwiddie, 2016), coefficient alpha = .92). It was highly correlated with a measure of religious practices (r = .51).

Selected items (alpha = .83), but not the full five, were also correlated with Christian Beliefs Index (.56), Christian Social Values (.64), Christian Service Scale (.23), and Christian Practices (.36) in Sutton, Arnzen, and Kelly (2016).

More recently, Heather Kelly and others (2017) used the IFS in two studies of Christians' views of sin. In study one, alpha = .85. Christian Beliefs (.68) and Practices (.30) were significantly correlated with the IFS. Big Five traits also supported the validity: Conscientiousness (.23) and Openness (-.19). And in study two alpha = .93 following are the significant correlations with the IFS:  Beliefs .64; Practices .44; Openness -.19; Conscientiousness was not significant at -.10.
















Although I have only used the IFS in Christian samples, it has been used with people of other religions.

Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index


References

Kelly, H.L., Sutton, G. W, Hicks, L., Godfrey, A. & Gillihan, C. (2018). Factors predicting the moral appraisal of sexual behavior in Christians. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 37, (2), 162-177.

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., Kelly, H., Worthington, E. L. Jr., Griffin, B. J., & Dinwiddie, C. (2018) Satisfaction with Christian Psychotherapy and Well-being: Contributions of Hope, Personality, and Spirituality. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 5 (1), 8-24, doi: 10.1037/scp0000145  Academia Link    ResearchGate Link

Williamson, W. P., Hood, R. W. Jr., Ahmad, A., Sadiq, M., Hill, P. C. (2010). The Intratextual Fundamentalism Scale: Cross-cultural application, validity evidence, and relationship with religious orientation and the big 5 factor markers. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 13, 721-747. doi:10.1080/13674670802643047


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Monday, August 7, 2017

Christian Beliefs Index Measuring Christian Spirituality



One way to think about the components of religion is three-dimensional, which includes beliefs, practices, and experiences. A few years ago, a group of us studied Christian counseling to discover what Christian counselors actually did that was different from other counselors (Sutton, Arnzen, & Kelly, 2016). We wanted to get more specific about the identity of Christian counselors--beyond a simple checklist of their affiliation with a large group such as Presbyterian or a movement such as Pentecostal. As part of our plan to be more specific about spirituality, we created a few measures. 

Previously, I reported on a scale for assessing spiritual practices. This time I present a measure of beliefs, the Christian Beliefs Index.
           
The wording of the items clearly applies to the Christian faith, but the point of our measure was to be more precise about the diversity of beliefs within Christian cultures (i.e., groups or denominations). I’ll comment on the items below.
           
The full index used in the published article follows. It is presented by asking respondents to rate the items using a 5-point rating scale from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree.  

Please tell us a little about your Christian beliefs.

1.      I have had a born-again experience.
2.      God heals some people without human intervention.
3.      All Christians are called to share their faith with others.
4.      People who do not accept Jesus as their personal savior will spend eternity in hell.

Score the index by adding the values. Scores can range from 4 to 20 unless you use a different metric. In our study, the mean was 18.10 and the standard deviation was 2.19. The skew was -1.30, which was acceptable (+/- 1.50). Kurtosis was also acceptable (1.61).  Coefficient alpha for our study (Sutton et al., 2016) was adequate (.76).

We have used the scale in other studies. Here are the alpha levels: .72 (Kelly et al., 2018) and .80 (Sutton, Kelly, & Huver, 2019).

Validity data indicate significant positive correlations with other aspects of spirituality, which supports its use as measuring another dimension of the construct, Christian spirituality. Following is a table showing the Pearson Correlation Coefficients for the relationship between the Beliefs Index and four other measures of Christian spirituality.

Index or Measure
Correlation
Personal Christian Practices
.25*
Intratextual Fundamentalism Items
.56*
Christian Social Values
.52*
Christian Service Scale
.22*

p < .01

Brief Discussion

We designed the Christian Beliefs Index to obtain a more diverse view of Christian beliefs than would be possible from reporting an affiliation with a denomination or group. The born-again item (1) is a marker of evangelicalism so, we would expect high scores reflecting this segment of Christianity. Although many Christians believe in God’s healing power, the belief in divine healing (2) without human intervention is more typical of Pentecostals and charismatics. Of course, belief in miracles, including healing, is also a part of Catholic teaching. The sharing of faith (3) is a Christian mandate and part of what it means to be an evangelical Christian. Finally, the belief in Jesus as a personal savior and the consequences of an eternity in hell is closer to fundamentalism (4). Overall, high scores reflect a conservative type of evangelical beliefs close to fundamentalism, which is supported by the shared variance with the five-item Intratextual Fundamentalism Scale (Williamson, Hood, Ahmad, Sadiq & Hill, 2010).

Note also that these beliefs are significantly related to practices as we might expect but the correlation is lower reflecting a difference between what people believe and how they practice their faith.

The Christian Beliefs Index may be used by teachers and researchers without requesting permission. We just ask you cite either the Sutton, Arnzen, and Kelly (2016) or Sutton (2017b) reference below, which are sources that provide the text of the scales. Of course, more recent studies will include the reliability and validity data.


Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index

References

Kelly, H.L., Sutton, G. W, Hicks, L., Godfrey, A. & Gillihan, C. (2018). Factors predicting the moral appraisal of sexual behavior in Christians. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 37, (2), 162-177. 

 Sutton, G. W. (2017a). Applied statistics: Concepts for counselors, Second Edition. Springfield, MO: Sunflower. Amazon Paperback ISBN-10: 1521783926, ISBN-13: 978-1521783924 

Sutton, G. W. (2017b). Creating surveys: Evaluating programs and reading research. Springfield, MO: Sunflower. Amazon Paperback ISBN-10: 1522012729 ISBN-13: 978-1522012726

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.

Sutton, G. W., Kelly, H. L., & Huver, M. (2019). Political identities, religious identity, and the pattern of moral foundations among conservative Christians. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 48, pp. 169-187. Accepted 6 September 2019. Online October 16, 2019. 

Williamson, W.P., Hood, R. W. Jr., Ahmad, A., Sadiq, M., Y Hill, P.C. (2010). The intratextual fundamentalism scale: cross-cultural application, validity evidence, and relationship with religious orientation and the Big 5 factor markers. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 13, 721-747.


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Identity Salience Questionnaire (ISQ)

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