RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION SCALE

Variable:

The Religious Association Scale (RAS) measures religiosity as an "ability" rather than a personality predisposition. The stress is on performance: what a person does rather than who he or she is.

Description:

The final version of this mea­ sure of individual religiosity is based on as­ sociations to 25 consonant-vowel-consonant (eVe) letter combinations or trigrams. Re­spondents are explicitly requested to give a religious word association to each of the eves and then to use that word in a sen­tence. Even when participants are unable to offer a religious association, they are in­ structed to provide any association that they can make. Associations were initially scored as 1 = nonreligious; 2 = religious; 3 = clearly religious. This procedure was later modified to assign a score of 1 for religious content and a score of 0 if such was not pre­ sent. A total religiosity score is thus com­puted.

Practical Considerations:

Scoring requires only minor training, and this paper-and-pen­cil test is easily administered in group set­ tings. It is recommended that this instru­ment be administered to participants prior to any other measures concerned with religion in order to obtain responses untainted by order effects.

Norms/Standardization:

Embree (1970) initially scaled 280 eves for religious asso­ciation value (RAV) and then selected 80 that elicited RAVs in more than 50% of the responses. The final short form version con­sisted of 25 trigrams with RAVs ranging from 50 to 64 percent in RAV. This was done to maximize response variance. The RAS was developed on undergraduate stu­ dents and has not been employed with non­ college populations. A total of 270 under­ graduates served in the various development and validation studies.

Reliability:

Internal consistency reliability coefficients range from .90 to 97; .96 and .97 are reported for the 80-item ver­sion, and .90 and .92 for the 25 item short form. Interscorer reliability yielded a coef­ficient of .93. Odd-even internal consis­tency for the associations for the 80-item scale was .97. Apparently the RAS can be objectively scored in a highly reliable manner.

Validity:

A principal components analysis with varimax rotation of the RAS score with four other religious measures and an index of scholastic ability showed it loaded .38 and .58 on the two factors that resulted. On one of these factors, ability loaded very highly. Hence, there is the suggestion that intellectual capacity may influence the RAS. Correlationally, the 80-item RAS as­ sociates positively and significantly with a number of objective scales of religiosity. These coefficients tend to be low to moder­ate in strength, implying that the RAS might be assessing an aspect of religiosity that is not found in most traditional mea­ sures of this phenomenon. The 25-item short form is independent of academic (in­tellectual) ability but correlates positively and significantly with a variety of scales of religious conservatism plus intrinsic reli­gious motivation. Except for the latter, RAS scores are independent of the sub­ scales in the Omnibus Personality Inven­tory, as well as the Edwards Social Desir­ ability Scale.

That this instrument assesses some aspect of religious commitment is evident, but fur­ther work to more precisely define what is being measured is necessary. Unfortunately, little subsequent work has employed this scale.

Religious Association Scale

Instructions. This Scale is designed to measure social attitudes. Look at each nonsense syllable and pronounce it to yourself silently. Is the nonsense syllable a word or does it sound like a word you associate with religion-a biblical character, place, idea, church or church teaching? Write that word in the small blank next to the syllable. Then use the word in a short complete sentence. If you do not associate the nonsense syllable with religion, then write the word you do associate with the nonsense syllable. Use that word in a short sentence. Leave no blanks.

Study the examples below, then turn the sheet over and begin.

Examples:

RAB Rabbi A Rabbi is a religious leader in the Jewish faith.

QAK Quaker The Quaker religion is mentioned in American history books.

TYR Martyr Paul was a Christian martyr.

(Below are given the full 80 nonsense syllables for the long form, along with their Religious Association Values. The final 25 in the short form are denoted by an (*).

eve

RAV Value

eve

RAV Value

eve

RAV Value

eve

RAV Value

RAB

91

SAR

78

LIB

58

vow

84

MOS

92

SOR

63

WOM

85

ZEL

53

ZEK

77

MIR

76

PYR

63

SAQ

55

LUT

67

REQ

53

SEK

66

BEY*

51

RYT*

55

REN

56

LOF*

57

HYM

95

HEV

87

SEC

67

NAK*

50

SAH

86

JER

95

TYR

66

YEW*

64

LYZ

51

TYM*

52

WUN*

51

ZAC

74

CYR

65

JOL*

60

LUS*

64

LAS*

63

MUT

55

LUK

89

LUR*

58

RAL

55

SYP

56

MIZ*

51

GIB

51

MEC

73

VER*

64

GES*

59

NOH

93

GAV

68

CYP

59

NUW*

51

TOR*

55

LOH*

55

SYG

55

LAV*

58

LUZ

50

MER

90

LUF

65

BOD

71

GOL

84

CYN

79

BEM*

51

LYD

66

WIK*

50

MYR

74

KOW

55

DES

66

REY

57

DIV

76

LOR*

63

GEN

93

MIC*

57

FOL

71

HEB

78

COR*

61

MOH

71

SEM

71

PYL*

52

QAK

51

KOO

55

WAL

53

ROZ*

52

The RAVs assume a decimal. The CVCs are in random order as they appear on the scales. The values are for males and females combined.

General Setup (first 2 items)

Word Sentence

Location:

Embree, R. A. (1970). The religious association scale as an "abilities" measure of the religious fac­ tor in personality. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 9, 299-302

Embree, R. A. (1973). The religious association scale: A preliminary validation study. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 12, 223-226.

Embree, R. A. (undated). Religious Association Scale (Short form).

Embree, R. A. (undated). An interpretation of the short form revision of the Religious Association Scale. (The last two unpublished papers are avail­ able from Dr. R. A. Embree, 926 Third Ave. S. E., Le Mars, Iowa 51031.)

Subsequent Research:

None.