The Indiscriminate Proreligious­ness Scale (IPRO) measures the tendency to be both intrinsically and extrinsically re­ligious on personal and congregational lev­els. Pargament developed this scale after examining the way Allport criticized the logic of the indiscriminately proreligious individual who scored high on both the ex­trinsic and intrinsic subscales of the Reli­gious Orientation Scale (Allport & Ross, 1967). Pargament suggests that intrinsic and extrinsic orientations are not necessarily logically inconsistent. Individuals who score high on both scales may, according to Pargament, both “live” and “use” their reli­gion.

Pargament and his colleagues opera­tionally define indiscriminate proreligious­ness as a tendency to respond positively to religious material regardless of its plausibil­ity. For example, a person who consistently responds positively to such statements as “Members always know about all church activities” and “I always live by my reli­gious beliefs” would be considered indis­criminately proreligious by this scale.


The IPRO contains two sub­ scales: congregational (PRO-C) and per­sonal (PRO-P) proreligiousness. The PRO­ C items focus on areas of church life, such as leadership, membership, services, activi­ties, education, clergy, and policies. The PRO-P items deal with the devotional, con­ sequential, ritual, and ideological facets of an individual’s personal religious life.

Both the congregational and personal subscales use a true-false format to force the respondent to choose between an indiscrim­ inate proreligious position and a more dis­ criminating position. Each item clearly al­ lows for a choice of a proreligious position, and, in each case, this position is not plausi­ble. The PRO-C scale contains 16 items, 8 of which are reverse scored. The PRO-P scale has 12 items, with 5 reverse scored.

Practical Considerations:

As with other measures of religious orientation, the Indis­criminate Proreligious Scale requires no special skills to administer or score. For all items, the proreligious response (some items are reverse scored) is scored I and the non-proreligious response is scored 0. The total score is simply the number of items an­swered with a proreligious response.

If a proreligious orientation is used as a categorical independent variable, it is rec­ommended that theoretical midpoints of the scales (8 for PRO-C, 6 for PRO-P) be used rather than median splits, thereby avoiding inconsistent classification across studies due to sampling differences.


One sample total­ing 261 subjects was selected from three Michigan churches: two Lutheran (total N = 155) and one Presbyterian (N = 106). Forty­ one percent of the sample was male and the median age was 43. A second sample was drawn from church-going student volunteers from a moderate-sized midwestem univer­sity. This sample of 305 subjects contained 27% males with a median age of 19 and consisted of 53% Roman Catholic, 43% Protestant, and 4% Other.

Means (and standard deviations) for the church sample were 4.51 (3.19) on the PRO-C measure and 4.01 (2.68) on the PRO-P measure. For the student sample, the respective means (and standard deviations) for PRO-C and PRO-P were 6.08 (3.75) and 4.23 (2.16).


For the church sample, Cron­bach’s alpha reliability estimates of .75 for the PRO-P scale and .78 for the PRO-C scale were found. Reliability estimates with the student sample were .59 and .82 for the PRO-P and PRO-C scales respectively. The rather low PRO-P reliability estimate in the student sample was thought to be due to the low rate of endorsement of a number of items (a dichotomous item may be limited in its correlation with another variable as its proportion of endorsement increasingly dif­fers from 50%) among the students or to a lower level of religious commitment and in­tegration (and, hence, possibly less reliable responses). In fact, the student sample scored significantly lower than the church sample on Hoge’s (1972) Intrinsic scale.

Validity: The content validity of the scale was determined by a factor analysis, using a promax rotation. All items have factor load­ings of at least .20 and, with the exception of two PRO-C items, do not load on the other factor. An agreement response set is largely eliminated by the presence of nega­tively worded items.

Construct validity was measured in a number of ways. First, PRO-C and PRO-P correlate only moderately with the Crowne­ Marlowe (1964) measure of social desirabil­ity (.52 with PRO-P and .29 with PRO-C in the church sample; .49 with PRO-P and .31 with PRO-C in the student sample). Second, PRO-P with PRO-C correlate only moder­ately with each other (.40 for the church sample and of .44 for the student sample), suggesting that the two subscales assess re­lated but distinct domains of indiscriminate proreligiousness. Third, the median correla­tions with measures of congregational cli­ mate and satisfaction across both church and student samples were higher with PRO­ C (.43) than with PRO-P (.22) and Crowne­ Marlowe (.14). Fourth, the median correla­tions with several religious variables (e.g., intrinsic, extrinsic, quest, God-control, or­thodoxy, church attendance, frequency of prayer, and religious salience) were higher with PRO-P (.30) than with PRO-C (.I 0) and Crowne-Marlowe (.09). The between­ sample (church and students) consistency in support of these hypotheses not only sug­gests high construct validity but also demonstrates evidence of generalizability. Fifth, a modest relationship was found be­ tween PRO-P and indiscriminate proreli­giousness as defined through the Allport and Ross 2X2 typology on the Intrinsic-Extrin­ sic Religious Orientation Scale.

Indiscriminate Proreligiousness Scale

Please answer “true” or “false” to each of the following items.

Congregational Form (PRO-C)

  1. Tensions do not exist among members of this church.
  2. Differences of opinion are always welcome in this church.
  3. Members of the church share all of their joys and sorrows with each other.
  4. Some members complain about aspects of the church. (R)
  5. Church members never gossip about one another.
  6. Sometimes there is a problem about getting volunteers for activities in this church. (R)
  7. Sometimes church leaders don’t know members’ opinions on important issues. (R)
  8. Church leaders are sometimes insensitive to members’ needs. (R)
  9. Some church activities are boring. (R)
  10. Members always know about all church activities.
  11. It is sometimes hard for members to get involved in church activities. (R)
  12. This church has programs to meet the needs of all the members.
  13. There are no cliques in this church.
  14. The ministers are sometimes unable to help solve members’ problems. (R)
  15. The members know all the church policies and rules.
  16. Our ministers do not give their full attention to some of the members. (R)

    Personal Form (PRO-P)

    1. Religious services always give me new insight into my religious beliefs.
    2. I am always inspired by the sermon topics.
    3. Sometimes I daydream during services. (R)
    4. I always try to use the message of the weekly sermon in my daily life.
    5. There have been times when I doubted the existence of God. (R)
    6. I always live by my religious beliefs.
    7. My religious beliefs guide me in every one of my daily actions.
    8. There are times when I do not feel like going to church. (R)
    9. Praying always brings me inner peace.
    10. Sometimes I feel that the teachings of my religion ask too much of me. (R)
    11. I never disobey the teachings of my faith.
    12. When things are going well for me, I sometimes forget to thank God. (R)


      Pargament, K. I., Brannick, M. T., Adamakos, H., Ensing, D. S., Kelemen, M. L., Warren, R. K., Falgout, K., Cook, P., & Myers, J. (1987). lndiscriminate proreligiousness: Conceptualization and measurement. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 26, 182-200.

      Subsequent Research:

      Hathaway, W. L., & Pargament, K. I. (1990). In­trinsic religiousness, religious coping, and psychosocial competence: A covariance structure analysis. Journal for the Scientific Study of Reli­gion, 29(4), 423-441.

      Pargament, K. I., Ensing, D. S., Falgout, K., Olsen, H., Reilly, B., Van Haitsma, K., & Warren, R. (1990). God help me (I): Religious coping ef­ forts as predictors of the outcomes to significant life events. American Journal of Community Psy­ chology, 18(6), 793-824.

      Pargament, K. I., Olsen, H., Reilly, B., Falgout, K., Ensing, D. S., & Van Haitsma, K. (1992). God help me (II): The relationship of religious orienta­ tions to religious coping with negative life events. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 31(4), 504-513.


      Allport, G. W., & Ross, J.M. (1967). Personal religious orientation and prejudice. Journal of Per­sonality and Social Psychology, 5, 432-443.

      Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1964). The ap­proval motive: Studies in evaluative dependence. New York: Wiley.

      Hoge, D. R. (1972). A validated intrinsic reli­gious motivation scale. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 11, 369-376.

      (R) indicates that the item is reverse scored.