Table of Contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (*).
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)
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.)