CROSS-CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF RELIGIOSITY

Variable:

The Cross-Cultural Dimensions of Religiosity Scale measures the following: belief, experience, religious practices, reli­gious knowledge, individual moral conse­quences, and social consequences. These scales are related to the dimensions of religiosity identified by Glock and Stark (1966) and are part of the ongoing debate about the unidimensionality or multidimensionality of religion. In this regard, Hilty, Morgan and Bums (1984) as well as Hilty and Morgan (1985), present more recent discussion of some of the same issues. The Hilty et al. conclusion, based on a different set of items and different analytic techniques, supports a multidimensional view. Their seven dimen­sions of religiosity, however, are only par­tially similar to DeJong's six dimensions of religiosity.

Description:

DeJong, Faulkner, and War­ land (1976) have revised and modified a set of religious measures that had originally been developed using Guttman scaling tech­niques (Faulkner & DeJong, 1966). These measures assume a multidimensional model of religiosity like that advocated by Glock and Stark (l 966). However, DeJong and colleagues' version used a variety of factor analytic techniques to refine a pool of 54 items. The items were of varying formats, including Likert-type questions, open-ended questions, forced-choice questions, factual questions, matching questions, and so on. An initial factor analysis (oblique method) reduced the pool of items to the final set of 38 items. The scales and the number of as­ sociated items are described as follows:

Belief Dimension (8 items): Belief about God, immortality, prayer, and scripture Experience Dimension (4 items): Experi­encing the presence of God, forgiveness, peace Religious Practice Dimension (5 items): Church attendance, financial support, bible reading, church activity Individual Moral Consequences Dimen­sion (6 items): Agreement or disagreement with ethical issues such as dishonesty, sex­uality, violence Religious Knowledge Dimension (10 items): Ability to identify biblical charac­ters, persons in church history Social Consequences Dimension (5 items): Concern about selected social issues such as poverty, housing, unemployment

Practical Considerations:

The scales produced by Delong et al. (1976) are straightforward and easy to use. The entire set of 38 items takes about 20 minutes to ad­ minister. Although Delong et al. give no di­rections for scoring the scales, simple addi­tion of the answers produces composite scores. In many cases the higher the number of the answer, the higher the level of reli­giosity for that item. However, to guard against a response set, DeJong et al. re­ versed the answers in some scales, espe­cially those for experience, religious prac­tice, and social consequences. Therefore, some items must be reverse scored.

Norms/Standardization:

These scales were tested using a cross-cultural sample. The sample was composed of students at Penn­sylvania State University and the University of Bielefeld, Germany. In the fall of 1970, a total of 536 usable schedules for the Ameri­ can students and a total of 390 usable sched­ ules from the German respondents (total n = 926) was obtained. In both universities, the sample was a purposive nonrandom aggre­gate sample.

De Jong et al. (1976) report that the American and German students displayed a "strikingly similar dimensional pattern" of religiosity (p. 879). Although they answered the questions in rather different ways, the underlying pattern of religiosity was the same. This gives support to the idea that the six dimensions presented may transcend American religious settings and represent, at least, a more general Judeo-Christian pat­ tern. The specific differences observed be­ tween the American and German students were that the German students were less likely to attend church, less likely to en­dorse traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about God and death, less likely to report they have experienced repentance, more likely to be knowledgeable about biblical and theological personalities, and more con­cerned about issues of social justice.

More recently Hilty and Stockman (1986) conducted a replication of the De­ Jong et al. (1976) research with two samples of Americans. One sample was composed of 503 adults in American Lutheran churches in Ohio, whereas the second sample was drawn from undergraduate students at Ohio State University (n = 385). Using the 38 items created by Delong and his colleagues, Hilty and Stockman found corroboration for five out of the six dimensions of religiosity. Essentially their work duplicated the find­ings of DeJong et al., with the exception that the religious practice dimension did not emerge in the factor analysis. They also dropped one of the items from the Social Consequences Dimension (the item on capi­tal punishment). The resulting pool of 32 items and five factors seems to fit the data better and give higher degrees of fitness using goodness of fit statistics.

In addition, Hilty and Stockman sought to corroborate DeJong's second order factor analysis. In this case, however, they found greater differences between the two studies. Instead of finding three second order factors as did Delong, Hilty and Stockman found only two second order factors for their first sample and only one factor for the second sample. Their conclusion is that although the multidimensionality of religion is sup­ ported by some studies (including data from their Lutheran study), the possibility re­ mains that a single dimension of religiosity focusing on the area of ideology or religious belief may capture much of what is included under the notion of religiosity. In general, the replication by Hilty and Stockman re­veals that the Delong et al. (1976) measures fare quite well in their estimation.

Reliability:

No reliability data were re­ ported.

Validity:

The only validity checks were al­ ternative statistical analyses. DeJong et al. (1976) report that analyses based on techniques of image analysis and a derived solu­ tion based on a varimax rotation (factor analysis) produced no significant differ­ ences in the factor structure.

Dimensions of Religiosity

Belief Dimension

1. What do you believe about immortality?
  • 1. I do not believe in immortality in any sense.
  • 2. I believe in reincarnation.
  • 3. I believe immortality is the continued influence of a person's life on family or society.
  • 4. While its meaning is somewhat imprecise, I believe in the continued existence of the personality as a part of a universal spiritual principle.
  • 5. I believe in the resurrection of one's being and life after death.
2. What do you feel will probably happen to you after death?
  • 1. Simply stop existing.
  • 2. Reincarnation.
  • 3. I have no idea.
  • 4. Uncertain.
  • 5. My "spirit" will have some continuation in the universe.
  • 6. Depending on the will of God, I will go to heaven or hell.
3. What do you believe about God?
  • l. I don't believe in God.
  • 2. I don't know whether there is a God and there probably is not a way to find out.
  • 3. God is a "spirit" within us.
  • 4. I don't believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a higher power of some kind.
  • 5. I feel that I do believe in God even though I am not able to explain fully who or what God is.
  • 6. I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it.
4. What do you believe about Jesus?
  • 1. Frankly, I am not sure the historical Jesus existed.
  • 2. I think Jesus was only a man.
  • 3. I think Jesus was only a man, although an extraordinary one.
  • 4. I feel that Jesus was a great religious prophet, but I don't feel He was the Son of God any more than all of us are the children of God.
  • 5. Jesus is best understood as a symbol of goodness; whether he existed or not is unim­portant.
  • 6. I feel basically that Jesus is Divine, but I have some problems understanding the con­ cept of His Divinity.
  • 7. Jesus is the Divine Son of God and I have no doubts about it.
5. What do you believe about the idea that God has and continues to act in the history of man?
  • I. There is no evidence of any intervention of "God" in human history.
  • 2. People who have believed in God have influenced history.
  • 3. I believe the unfolding history of man has been within a natural order established by a higher power.
  • 4. While I am unable to explain fully who or what God is, I believe he has an influence in the history of man.
  • 5. I believe God has and continues to intervene directly and indirectly in the history of man.
6. Which of the following comes closest to expressing your conception of prayer?
  • I. "Prayer" is not a meaningful term to me.
  • 2. Prayer is self-evaluation and working out one's problems.
  • 3. Prayer is meditation in which thought is directed toward beauty, goodness, comfort, etc.
  • 4. Prayer is directing one's thoughts toward a higher power.
  • 5. Prayer is speaking to God.
7. Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing your conception of sin?
  • I . I do not believe in "sin."
  • 2. I believe people err but do not "sin."
  • 3. Sin is behavior which goes against my own personal principles.
  • 4. Sin is behavior which harms others.
  • 5. Sin is behavior which goes against accepted social and ethical principles.
  • 6. Sin is failure to live up to the highest spiritual ideals I know.
  • 7. Sin is the individual's rejection of God's will for his life.
8. What is your view of the Bible?
  • 1. The Bible is a collection of myths and fantasies.
  • 2. The Bible is a collection of literary and historical writings.
  • 3. The Bible contains some of man's significant moral and ethical thinking.
  • 4. The Bible was written by inspired men and contains valuable spiritual teachings.
  • 5. The Bible is God's Word.

Experience Dimension

1. Have you ever had an experience which, at the time, you thought of as a religious experi­ence? If so, which of the following comes closest to expressing the dominant characters­ tics of your experience?
  • 1. I have never had what I would call a religious experience.
  • 2. I can't recall that I have had what I would call a religious experience.
  • 3. I have had moments of unusual appreciation of truth, beauty, goodness, etc.
  • 4. At some time I have had an awareness of the divine.
  • 5. I have had an experience (or experiences) when I felt a mutual encounter between my­ self and God.
For questions 2-4, answer according to the following:
  • 1. Strongly agree
  • 2. Agree
  • 3. Uncertain
  • 4. Disagree
  • 5. Strongly disagree
*2.There are particular moments in my life when I feel "close" to the Divine.
*3.1 know what it feels like to repent and experience forgiveness of sin.
*4.1 have experienced the joy and peace which comes from recognizing that one is a for­ given sinner.

Religious Practice Dimension

* l. How often do you attend Sabbath worship services?
  • l. Every week.
  • 2. About twice a month.
  • 3. About once a month.
  • 4. A few times a year.
  • 5. Never.
*2. Do you presently belong to a church (or synagogue)?
  • l. Yes.
  • 2. No.
3. Do you contribute funds to the church?
  • l. Never.
  • 2. Pays church tax (German students).
  • 3. Sometimes.
  • 4. Regularly.
*4. How would you describe your use of the Bible?
  • l. I read the Bible regularly for devotional purposes.
  • 2. I read the Bible, somewhat irregularly, primarily for devotional purposes.
  • 3. I read the Bible occasionally for its ethical and moral teachings.
  • 4. I read the Bible occasionally for literary or historical purposes.
  • 5. I read the Bible for diverse purposes.
  • 6. I seldom, if ever, read the Bible.
  • 7. I never read the Bible.
5. In how many religiously affiliated organizations, groups, or activities (such as choir, youth groups, committees, and boards, etc.) do you participate?
  • 0. None
  • l. One
  • 2. Two
  • 3. Three
  • 4. Four
  • 5. Five or more

Individual Moral Consequences Dimension

For each of the following statements, answer according to the following.
  • 1. Strongly agree
  • 2. Agree
  • 3. Uncertain
  • 4. Disagree
  • 5. Strongly disagree
I. Misrepresenting your age to be served alcoholic beverages is acceptable behavior.
2. It would not bother my conscience to use marijuana.
3. Premarital sexual relations between a boy and a girl who are "in love" is not immoral.
4. Stealing hubcaps or shoplifting minor items is not immoral.
5. Violence can be a justifiable form of civic protest.
6. A woman should be able to obtain an abortion for any reason.

Religious Knowledge Dimension

Are the following persons mentioned in the (1) Old Testament, (2) New Testament, or not mentioned in Bible? Check the appropriate column.
Old Testament New Testament Not in Bible
Aquinas Moses Joshua Wesley David Paul Isaiah Luther Timothy Augustine

Social Consequences Dimension

For the following statements, answer according to the following.
  • I. Strongly agree
  • 2. Agree
  • 3. Uncertain
  • 4. Disagree
  • 5. Strongly disagree
*1.1 am for better housing for disadvantaged groups in society.
*2.1 stand for the eradication of poverty among groups of this society.
*3.I support full employment opportunities for all.
*4.I support programs which guarantee economic security for old age.
*5.1 think capital punishment should be abolished.
*Item is reversed scored

Location:

Delong, G. F., Faulkner, J.E., & Warland, R.H. (1976). Dimensions of religiosity reconsidered: Ev­ idence from a cross-cultural study. Social Forces, 54 (4), 866-889.

Subsequent Research:

Hilty, D. M., & Stockman, S. J. (1986). A co­ variance structure analysis of the Delong, Faulkner and Warland Religious Involvement Model. Jour­ nal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 25(4), 483-493.

Thompson, E. H. (1991). Beneath the status characteristic: Gender variations in religiousness. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30(4), 381-394.

References

Clayton, R. R. (1971). 5-D or 1? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, JO, 37-40.

Clayton, R. R. (1974). The five dimensions of religiosity: Toward demythologizing a sacred arti­ fact. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 13, 135-143.

Delong, G., Faulkner, J., & Warland, R. (1976). Dimensions of religiosity reconsidered: Evidence from a cross-cultural study. Social Forces, 54, 866-889.

Faulkner, J.E., & Delong, G. (1966). Religios­ity in 5-D: An empirical analysis. Social Forces, 45, 246-254.

Glock, C., & Stark, R. (1966). Christian beliefs and anti-semitism. New York: Harper & Row.

Hilty, D. M., Morgan, R., & Bums, J. (1984). King and Hunt revisited: Dimensions of religious involvement. Journal for the Scientific Study of Re­ ligion, 23(3), 252-266.

Hilty, D. M., & Morgan, R. (1985) Construct validation for the Religious Involvement Inventory: Replication. Journal for the Scientific Study of Reli­ gion, 24(1 ), 75-85.

Hilty, D. M., & Stockman, S. J. (1986). A co­ variance structure analysis of the Delong, Faulkner and Warland Religious Involvement Model. Jour­nal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 25(4), 483-493.

Roof, W. C. (1979). Concepts and indicators of religious commitment: A critical review. In R. Wuthnow (Ed.), The religious dimension: New di­rections in quantitative research. New York: Acad­ emic Press.

Weigert, A. J., & Thomas, D. L. (1969). Reli­giosity in 5-D: A critical note. Social Forces, 48, 260-262.