Christianity, Paranormal Belief and Personality: A Study Among 13- to 16-year-old Pupils in England and Wales

Archive for the Psychology of Religion 31 (3):337-344 (2009)
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Abstract

Studies concerning the changing landscapes of religiosity and spirituality in the lives of young people in England and Wales draw attention to decline in traditional religiosity and to growth in alternative spiritualities. The present study examined whether such alternative spiritualities occupy the same personality space as traditional religiosity. A sample of 2,950 13- to 16-year-old pupils attending 11 secondary schools in England and Wales completed the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity and an index of paranormal belief, alongside the abbreviated-form Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised. The data demonstrated that these two forms of belief were related in different ways to Eysenck's dimensional model of personality space. While attitude toward Christianity occupied the space defined by low psychoticism scores and high lie scale scores, paranormal belief was related to high psychoticism scores and was independent of lie scale scores. These findings support the view that alternative spiritualities may be associated with different personalities.

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Leslie Francis
University of Utah

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