Table of Contents
Although the conceptualization of quest has remained virtually unchanged over the course of Batson's writings related to it, numerous "Quest Scales" have appeared since the construct was initially pro posed. A nine-item version used by Batson in the early seventies gave way to the six-item "Interactional" Scale (Batson, 1976), the version with which most of the substantive re search related to the quest orientation has been conducted (see Batson & Ventis, 1982; Batson et al., 1993, for reviews). Prompted largely by criticisms regarding the low internal consistency associated with the 6-item / scale, however, Batson and Schoenrade J (1991b) constructed a 12-item Quest Scale. Reliability and other psychometric concerns also sparked three other independent scale revision/construction attempts: Altemeyer and Hunsberger (1992); Kojetin, McIntosh, Bridges, & Spilka (1987); and McFarland (1989). Only Batson and Schoenrade (1991b) will be discussed here, however.
The 12-item Quest Scale is intended to assess three distinct but interrelated aspects of the quest orientation: (a) "readiness to face existential questions without reducing their complexity," (b) "self-criticism and perceptions of religious doubts as positive," and (c) "openness to change" (Batson & Schoenrade, 1991b, p. 431). Each aspect is primarily assessed by four different items, although Batson and Schoenrade express reservations with respect to using these item clusters as subscales. Batson and colleagues typically employ a nine-point (1 = strongly disagree to 9 = strongly agree) response for mat; scores are reported as overall item means (range = 1-9) rather than as item to tals (see "Norms/Standardization").
In addition to Quest Scale scores, Quest component scores-along with Means and End component scores-are computed based on a principal-components analysis justified by Batson 's (1976) three-dimensional model of religious orientation (see "Practical Considerations"; see also Religious Orientation Scale, in this volume). Because the Quest component is defined al most exclusively by the Quest Scale (Batson & Schoenrade, 1991b, reported loadings of and .97 in their two samples), however, the two are virtually interchangeable.
Other than a reference to deity in one item, the Quest) Scale's assumptions and wording are quite nonsectarian, suggesting the scale's useful ness across a broad range of samples. The existential content and sense of time perspective present in many items may limit the scale's comprehensibility to older adolescents and beyond, although this reviewer is unaware of any data establishing a "lower
limit" age range for the scale's use. Scoring of the scale itself is quite straightforward; deriving Quest component scores a la Batson's three-dimensional model requires some degree of statistical sophistication, however (see Batson, 1976, and Batson et al., 1993, for overviews of this procedure).
In their initial pre sentation of the 12-item Quest Scale, Batson and Schoenrade (1991b) reported means of 5.04 and 4.95 for two groups (approximately 200 each) of Christian-background undergraduates at the University of Kansas who were at least moderately interested in religion. Burris, Jackson, Tarpley, and Smith (1996) demonstrated that Quest scores vary considerably as a function of self-identified religious preference (see "Validity"). There is also some evidence that quest is inversely related to age (from adolescence beyond), but the data are by no means unequivocal (see Batson & Schoenrade, 1991a). More over, all age-related data reported thus far are cross-sectional, not longitudinal, which cannot rule out possible cohort effects on the age-quest relationship.
As noted above, Batson and Schoenrade (l 991b) developed the 12-item Quest Scale in part as a response to criticisms regarding the 6-item Interactional Scale's low reliability, i.e., with the "true" Cron bach's alpha hovering "around .45 or .50" (p. 432) based on their review of several studies. The reliability of the 12-item Quest Scale, while not outstanding, is nevertheless much more adequate: Batson and Schoenrade re ported Cronbach's alphas of .75 and .81 in their two samples, approximating the .71 to range reported by Burris et al. (l 996) across their four samples. Burris and Tarpley (in press) recently reported a two-week test retest reliability of .79 for the 12-item scale in a sample of 61 undergraduates, again favorably comparing to the .63 for the 6-item scale in an unpublished manuscript cited by Batson and Schoenrade.
Assuming the relative interchange ability of the 6-item Interactional and the 12-item Quest scales (which seems justified given correlations ;;:: .85, Batson & Schoenrade, 1991b), support for the validity of the latter scale is fairly substantial. For example, Batson has demonstrated repeatedly that the Quest Scale measures something distinct from what the Extrinsic or the Intrinsic scales measure (see Allport & Ross, 1967; see also this volume)-although whether the quest orientation should be regarded as independent with respect to either of these orientations is open to debate (see Burris, 1994). Moreover, Burris et al. (1996) demonstrated quest to be an articulation of religion not reducible to agnosticism (Donahue, 1985), liberalism (Paloutzian, 1983; Wulff, 1997), or simple anti-orthodox sentiment (Watson, Morris, & Hood, 1989). In two university samples, Burris et al. (l 996) found that individuals who declared their religious preference to be "personal religion" averaged higher on the Quest Scale than did either agnostics, liberal Protestants, or atheists. Indeed, consistent with Batson and colleagues' (1993, p. 167) suggestion that the quest-oriented individual is commit- ted to "hammering out his or her stance religious questions, refusing to be dominated by the religious institutions of society," Burris et al. found quest to be related to a number of variables suggestive of an individuated stance toward social participation in general (e.g., reactance, social criticism, need for uniqueness).
Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the items by using the following scale:
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Allport, G. W. (1950). The individual and his re ligion. New York: MacMillan.
Batson, C. D., & Burris, C. T. (1994). Personal religion: Depressant or stimulant of prejudice and discrimination? In M. P. Zanna & J. M. Olson (Eds.), The seventh Ontario symposium on person ality and social psychology: The psychology of prejudice (pp. 149-169). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Batson, C. D., & Ventis, W. L. (1982). The religious experience: A social-psychological perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
Batson, C. D., & Ventis, W. L. (1985). Misconception of quest: A reply to Hood and Morris. Re view of Religious Research, 26, 398-407.
Batson, C. D., & Schoenrade, P. (1991a). Measuring religion as quest: I. Validity concerns. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30, 416-429. Batson, C. D., & Schoenrade, P. (1991b). Measuring religion as quest: 2. Reliability concerns. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30, 430-447.
Burris, C. T. (1994). Curvilinearity and religious types: A second look at intrinsic, extrinsic, and quest relations. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 4, 245-260.
Burris, C. T. (I 997, June). Religious orientation and social identity: Towards a theoretical integration. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Donahue, M. J. (1985). Intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness: Review and meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 400-419. Hood, R. W., Jr., & Morris, R. J. (1985). Con ceptualization of quest: A critical rejoinder to Batson. Review of Religious Research, 26, 391-397.
Paloutzian, R. F. (1983). Invitation to the psychology of religion. Glenview, IL: Scott, Fores man.
Watson, P. J., Morris, R. J., & Hood, R. W., Jr. (1989). Interactional factor correlations with means and end religiousness. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28, 337-347.
Wulff, D. M. (1997). Psychology of religion: Classic and contemporary. New York: Wiley.