The Religious Involvement Inven­tory (RII) measures seven dimensions of re­ligiosity: (1) Personal Faith; (2) Intolerance of Ambiguity: Revised, (3) Orthodoxy, (4) Social Conscience, (5) Knowledge of Reli­gious History, (6) Life Purpose, and (7) Church Involvement.


The Religious Involvement In­ventory (RII) arose out of the author’s cri­tiques of the earlier scales by King and Hunt (1968, 1969, 1972, 1975). The authors hailed King and Hunt’s I I-factor, multivari­ate approach as an improvement over ear­lier, merely conceptual typologies. But they questioned King and Hunt’s reliance on (a) factors that were forced to be uncorrelated, (b) items that loaded on multiple factors, and (c) extraempirical criteria for item re­jection from various factors.

By subjecting King and Hunt’s question­naire to an oblique rotation, using only empir­ical criteria for scale construction with re­ peated and various religious populations, the authors found seven factors to best account for the data. A 4-point rating system (e.g., “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree,” and “regularly” to “seldom or never”) generated raw data for the following factors: (I) Per­sonal Faith, which reflects the degree of an active religious faith and an intrinsic orienta­tion with regard to the importance of religion; (2) Intolerance of Ambiguity: Revised, which measures rigid, categorical thinking; (3) Or­ thodoxy, which reflects the degree to which an individual acknowledges acceptance of traditional beliefs in church doctrines; (4) Social Conscience, which measures belief about the church’s and one’s personal role in soci­ety; (5) Knowledge of Religious History, which measures an individual’s knowledge of religion; (6) Life Purpose, which merges the two King and Hunt Purpose in Life scales into one, represents a general life purpose fac­ tor; and (7) Church Involvement, which indi­ cates the extent of financial and social in­volvement within the church context and reflects an extrinsic orientation toward public religious practice.

Practical Considerations:

This is a paper­ and-pencil measure requiring no special skill to administer and score. No instruc­tions are provided and no norms have been developed to allow use of the inventory with individuals.


Seven hundred fifty-eight members of the Mennonite Church Conference (53% females, 47% males, 16 to 90 years old) were the partici­pants in the first study (Hilty et al., 1984). A second study (Hilty & Morgan, 1985) repli­cated Hilty et al. 1984 outcomes, this time using three groups: the first was 367 fe­ males and 221 males affiliated with the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist denomination; the second and third groups were subjects reported in the King and Hunt 1972 and 1975 studies.


Coefficient alphas for the seven scales are as follows: Personal Faith (.87), Intolerance of Ambiguity: Revised (.83), Orthodoxy (.85), Social Conscience (.79), Knowledge of Religious History (.80), Life Purpose (.84), and Church Involvement (.81). These coefficients indicate good lower-bound estimates of scale reliability.


In two of the three samples from the Hilty and Morgan (1985) replication the authors found the same seven oblique fac­ tors (consisting of a total of 82 items), with essentially the same items loading on each factor as in the 1984 study by Hilty et al. Coefficients of congruence between factors across samples ranged from .84 to .98. In sample three, however. a five-factor solu­tion was a better fit with those data, which was a different outcome than the seven-fac­ tor model suggested from samples one and two. From these results, the authors con­cluded that the Hilty et al. (1984) multidi­mensional model based on their seven (or fewer) factor structure was more parsimo­nious than the 11 King and Hunt scales.

In both studies (Hilty et. al., 1984; Hilty and Morgan, 1985) the authors seem to have taken a LISREL confirmatory factor model-derived from the just completed ex­ploratory factor analyses-and then tested this confirmatory model, in part, on the same datasets from which the exploratory factor structures were extracted. When they did use data from other samples, the chi­ square tests for the authors’ proposed factor structures indicated the models were not ac­ceptable statistically, although they were an improvement compared to the null model. Various goodness-of-fit indices for the three samples were only .712, .734, and .819, leading Hilty and Morgan (1985) to con­clude that the results offered, at best, “sub­stantial inroads” into understanding the true factor structure of the data.

The Religious Involvement Inventory

Most items are answered on a 4-point scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The “how often” items have four alternatives: “regularly,” “fairly frequently,” “occasionally,” and “seldom or never.” The Knowledge of Religious History items have six choices that are listed in parentheses next to the items.

Personal Faith

  • The amount of time I spend trying to grow in understanding of my faith is:
  • How often do you read literature about your faith (or church)?
  • How often in the last year have you shared with another church member the problems and joys of trying to live a life of faith in God?
  • When faced by decisions regarding social problems, how often do you seek guidance from statements and publications provided by the church?
  • How often do you read the Bible?
  • How often do you pray privately in places other than at church?
  • How often do you talk about religion with your friends, neighbors, or fellow workers?
  • When you have decisions to make in your everyday life, how often do you try to find out what God wants you to do?
  • During the last year, how often have you visited someone in need, besides your own rel­ atives?
  • In talking with members of your family, how often do you yourself mention religion or religious activities?
  • How often have you personally tried to convert someone to faith in God?
  • I must admit that I don’t do very much to increase my knowledge of God.
  • I have had some unusual religious experiences.
  • It is important to me to spend periods of time in private religious thought and meditation.

Intolerance of Ambiguity: Revised

  • There is only one right way to do anything.
  • It is part of one’s patriotic duty to worship in the church of his choice.
  • A person either knows the answer to a question or he doesn’t.
  • Church leaders should pay attention to recent scientific studies which prove that the white race is best.
  • What religion offers me most is comfort when sorrows and misfortune strikes.
  • There are two kinds of people in the world: the weak and the strong.
  • A person is either a 100% American or he isn’t.
  • The purpose of prayer is to secure a happy and peaceful life.
  • There are two kinds of women: the pure and the bad.
  • You can classify almost all people as either honest or crooked.
  • It doesn’t take very long to find out if you can trust a person.


  • Estimate the extent to which you feel religion is important in your life today.
  • To what extent has God influenced your life?
  • How often do you ask God to forgive your sins?
  • How often do you pray privately in places other than at church?
  • I know that God answers my prayers.
  • I believe in eternal life.
  • Private prayer is one of the most important and satisfying aspects of my religious expe­ rience.
  • Property (house, automobile, money, investments, etc.) belongs to God; we only hold it in trust for him.
  • I believe that God revealed Himself to man in Jesus Christ.
  • Religion is especially important to me because it answers many questions about the meaning of life.
  • The church is important to me as a place where I get strength and courage for dealing with the trials and problems of life.
  • I believe that the Bible provides the basic moral principles to guide every decision of my daily life: with family and neighbors, in business and financial transactions, and as a citizen of the nation and world.
  • I believe in salvation as release from sin and freedom for new life with God.
  • I believe that the word of God is revealed in the Scriptures.
  • I believe in God as Heavenly Father who watches over me and to whom I am account- able.
  • I believe that Christ is a living reality.
  • I know how it feels to repent and experience forgiveness of sin.
  • I have about given up trying to understand “worship” or get much out of it.
  • I frequently feel very close to God in prayer, during public worship, or at important mo­ ments in my daily life.
  • I know that I need God’s continual love and care.

Social Conscience

  • I believe that my local congregation should sponsor projects to improve the economic well-being of blacks and other minority groups.
  • The church should take the lead in ending injustice toward blacks and other minority groups.
  • I am proud that my denomination has taken a stand in favor of equal rights for blacks and other minority groups.
  • Churches should support the struggle of black people to achieve equal rights.
  • I believe that my local congregation should sponsor projects to protect the rights of blacks and other minority groups.
  • I believe that my local congregation should accept as members persons of all races.

Knowledge of Religious History

  • Which of the following were among the twelve disciples? (Daniel; John; Judas; Paul; Peter; Samuel)
  • Which of the following books are in the Old Testament? (Acts; Amos; Galatians; He­ brews; Hosea; Psalms)
  • Which of the following denominations in the U.S. have bishops? (Disciples; Episcopal; Lutheran; Methodist; Presbyterian; Roman Catholic)
  • Which of the following books are included in the four Gospels? (James; John; Mark; Matthew; Peter; Thomas)
  • Which of the following were Old Testament prophets? (Deuteronomy; Ecclesiastes; Eli­ jah; Isaiah; Jeremiah; Leviticus)
  • Which of the following men were leaders of the Protestant Reformation? (Aquinas; Au­ gustine; Calvin; Cranmer; Hegel; Luther)
  • Which of the following acts were performed by Jesus Christ during his earthly ministry? (Resisting the temptations of Satan; healing ten lepers; leading his people against the priests of Baal; parting the waters to cross the Red Sea; overcoming Goliath; turning water into wine)
  • Which of the following principles are supported by most Protestant denominations? (Bible as the word of God; separation of church and state; power of clergy to forgive sins; final authority of the church; justification by faith; justification by good works)

Life Purpose

  • If I should die today, I would feel that my life has been worthwhile.
  • I am satisfied that most of the time I live in right relationship to God and to men.
  • Most of the time my life seems to be out of my control.
  • I usually find life new and exciting.
  • My life is full of joy and satisfaction.
  • I have discovered satisfying goals and a clear purpose in life.
  • My personal existence often seems meaningless and without purpose.
  • My life is often empty, filled with despair.
  • Facing my daily tasks is usually a source of pleasure and satisfaction to me.

Church Involvement

  • Of all your closest friends, how many are also members of your local congregation?
  • How would you rate your activity in this congregation?
  • Last year, approximately what percentage of your income was contributed to the church?
  • In proportion to your income, what do you consider that your contributions to the church are?
  • During the last year, what was the average monthly contribution of your family to your local congregation?
  • During the last year, how often have your made contributions to the church in addition to the general budget and Sunday School?
  • If not prevented by unavoidable circumstances, I attend church.
  • I make financial contributions to the church.
  • How often do you get together with members of your congregation in addition to church-sponsored meetings?
  • How often have you taken Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper; the Eucharist) during the last year?
  • How often do you spend evenings at church meetings or in church work?
  • Church activities (meetings, committee work, etc.) are a major source of satisfaction in my life.
  • I keep pretty well informed about my congregation and have some influence on its deci­sions.
  • I enjoy working in the activities of the church.


Hilty, D. M., & Morgan, R. L. (1985). Construct validation for the Religious Involvement Inventory: Replication. Journal for the Scientific Study of Reli­gion, 24( I), 75-86.

Subsequent Research: The RII has been used in subsequent research to assess religiosity among African Americans (Jacob­ son, 1992; Johnson, Matre & Armbrecht, 1991) and political activists (Guth & Green, 1990), as well as a variety of other considerations within social psychology (Abbott, Berry & Merideth, 1990; Bernt, 1989; Elli­ son, Gay & Glass, 1989; Watson, Howard, Hood & Morris, 1988).


Abbott, D., Berry, M., & Merideth, W. (1990). Religious belief and practice: A potential asset in helping families. Family Relations, 39, 443-448.

Bernt, F. (1989). Being religious and being al­ truistic: A study of college service volunteers. Per­sonality and Individual Differences, 10, 663-669.

Ellison, C., Gay, D., & Glass, T. (1989). Does religious commitment contribute to individual life satisfactory? Social Forces, 68, 100-123.

Guth, J., & Green, J. (1990). Religiosity and participation among political activists. Western Po­ litical Quarterly, 43, 153-179.

Hilty, D. M., Morgan, R. L., & Burns, J. E. (1984). King and Hunt revisited: Dimensions of re­ligious involvement. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 22, 252-266.

Jacobson, C. (1992). Religiosity in a black com­ munity: An examination of secularization and polit­ical values. Review of Religious Research, 33, 215-228.

Johnson, G., Matre, M., & Armbrecht, G. (1991). Race and religiosity: An empirical evalua­tion of a causal model. Review of Religious Re­ search, 32, 252-266.

King, M., & Hunt, R. (1968). I968 Question­naire. Unpublished test.

King, M., & Hunt, R. (1969). Measuring the re­ligious variable: Amended findings. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 8, 321-323.

King, M., & Hunt, R. (1972). Measuring the re­ligious variable: Replication. Journal for the Scien­tific Study of Religion, 11, 240-25 I.

King, M., & Hunt, R. (1975). Measuring the re­ligious variable: National replication. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 14, 13-22.

Watson, P., Howard, R., Hood, R., & Morris, R. (1988). Age and religious orientation. Review of Religious Research, 29, 271-280.