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Empirical research in the social psychology of religion expanded considerably during the second half of the twentieth century, as clearly demonstrated by the developments charted in three editions of Michael Argyle's reviews of the field (Argyle, 1958; Argyle & Beit-Hallahmi, 1975; Beit-Hallahmi & Argyle, 1997). As yet, however, the empirical psychology of religion has remained largely shaped within the Christian tradition and, to a lesser extent, within the Jewish tradition. The important review of existing measures of religiosity published by Hill and Hood (1999) illustrated the paucity of measures appropriate for extending empirical studies in the psychology of religion to other faith traditions. The establishment of comparable empirical studies across different faith traditions would be facilitated by the development of comparable measures of religiosity. In a series of earlier studies Francis and his associates have argued that such comparability might best be achieved by concentration on the attitudinal dimension of religion. The argument was first developed within the Christian tradition on the grounds that indices of affiliation, belief and practice function somewhat differently among say, Catholics and Protestants. The argument was then extended across other faith traditions. The attitudinal dimension, on the other hand, functions in a similar way across faith traditions. On this account, attitudes are concerned with underlying predispositions of an affective nature. Scales concerned with attitude toward religion assess affective responses on a continuum anchored by positive and negative feelings.

Professionnel et technique
1 mars
North American Journal of Psychology

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