The Religious Orientation Scale­ Revised, referred to by the authors as Intrin­sic/Extrinsic-Revised (1/E-R), measures both the intrinsic and extrinsic religious ori­entation originally posited by Allport (1950). Kirkpatrick’s (1989) conclusion, based on a reanalysis of several studies using Allport and Ross’s (1967) original Religious Orienta­tion Scale (see this volume), that the extrinsic scale subdivides into two categories, a per­sonally oriented (Ep) and socially oriented (Es) extrinsicness, suggested that a revision of the 1-E scales may be necessary.


Gorsuch and Venable (1983) (also see this volume) had already revised the Allport and Ross (1967) scales to make the religious orientation measure more amenable to individuals at all educational levels. A con­firmatory factor analysis of the Age-Univer­sal scale found the Ep and Es distinctions proffered by Kirkpatrick (1988). Thus, this scale is a revision of Gorsuch and Venable’s 20-item “Age-Universal” 1-E Scale with items designed to measure the intrinsic as well as both extrinsic categories. The result is a 14-item scale measured on the same 5- point “strongly disagree” (I) to “strongly agree” (5) format used with the Age-Univer­sal Scale. The authors report, however, that six or more intervals could be used with col­lege students or “other relatively sophisti­cated respondents.”

Eight items (3 reversed scored) tap the intrinsic orientation, whereas three items each measure the personal and social cate­gories of extrinsicness. In addition, the au­thors attempted to identify single items to represent the constructs (arguing that there are times when single item scales are neces­sary or preferred). By identifying an item that correlated highly with its own factor and low correlations with the other factors, the authors identified three single items for each of the three orientations (no.12 for in­trinsic, no.8 for extrinsic-personal, no.13 for extrinsic-social). The score of each scale is determined by summing its items’ re­sponses, resulting in a range of 8-40 for the I (Revised) scale and 3-15 for each E (Re­ vised) scale.

Practical Considerations:

This paper-and­ pencil measure requires no special examiner skill to administer, score, or interpret.


Participants in the original study were 771 students from secu­lar and religious colleges in Southern Cali­fornia. The mean and standard deviation for I (Revised) were 37.2 and 5.8. The mean and standard deviation for E (Revised) were 25.6 and 5.7.


The reliability estimate for I (Revised) was .83. The Reliability estimates for Ep (Revised), Es (Revised), and Ep/Es (Revised) were .57, .58, and .65 respec­tively. The reliability of the intrinsic scale is sufficient and is comparable to the reliabil­ity estimate of the original Age Universal Scale. Though the reliabilities of the extrin­sic scales are low, partly due to the fewer number of items making up each extrinsic scale, the authors are mindful that the brevity of the scales may make their use ap­ pealing for relatively large samples, thereby retaining the scales’ statistical power. The authors also suggest that additional items for each extrinsic scale would help increase the reliability of these scales and thus would be highly desirable.

Intrinsic/Extrinsic-Revised (1/E-R) Scale

Following are the items included in the 1/E-R scale. All items are scored as follows:

  • I = I strongly disagree
  • 2 = I tend to disagree
  • 3 = I’m not sure
  • 4 = I tend to agree
  • 5 = I strongly agree
  1. (I) I enjoy reading about my religion.
  2. (Es) I go to church because it helps me to make friends.
  3. (I)** It doesn’t much matter what I believe so long as I am good.
  4. (I) It is important to me to spend time in private thought and prayer.
  5. (I)I have often had a strong sense of God’s presence.
  6. (Ep) I pray mainly to gain relief and protection.
  7. (I) I try hard to live all my life according to my religious beliefs.
  8. (Ep)* What religion offers me most is comfort in times of trouble and sorrow.
  9. (Ep) Prayer is for peace and happiness.
  10. (I)** Although I am religious, I don’t let it affect my daily life.
  11. (Es) I go to church mostly to spend time with my friends.
  12. (I) My whole approach to life is based on my religion.
  13. (Es)* I go to church mainly because I enjoy seeing people I know there.
  14. (I)** Although I believe in my religion, many other things are more important in life.

* Single-item measures for that factor

** Reversed-scored


This scale confirms the factors found by Kirkpatrick (1988) in his reanalysis of several studies using traditional religious orientation scales. No other direct measures of validity are reported.


Gorsuch, R. L., & McPherson, S. E. (1989). In­trinsic/extrinsic measurement: 1/E-revised and sin­ gle-item scales. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28(3), 348-354.

Subsequent Research:

Giesbrecht, N. (1995). Parenting style and ado­lescent religious commitment. Journal of Psychol­ ogy and Christianity, 14(3), 228-238.

Kirkpatrick, L. A. (1993). Fundamentalism, Christian orthodoxy, and intrinsic religious orienta­ tion as predictors of discriminatory attitudes. Jour­ nal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 32(3), 256-268.

Schaefer, C. A., & Gorsuch, R. L. (1991). Psy­ chological adjustment and religiousness: The multi­ variate belief-motivation theory of religiousness. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30(4), 448-461.

Schaefer, C. A., & Gorsuch, R. L. (1992). Dimen­ sionality of religion: Belief and motivation as predic­ tors of behavior. Journal of Psychology and Chris­ tianity, 11(3), 244-254.


Allport, G. W. (1950). The individual and his re­ ligion. New York: MacMillan.

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

Gorsuch, R. L., & Venable, G. D. (1983). Devel­ opment of an “Age Universal” 1-E scale. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 22, 181-187.

Kirkpatrick, L. A. (1989). A psychometricanaly­ sis of the Allport-Ross and Feagin measures of in­ trinsic-extrinsic religious orientation. In D. 0. Moberg and M. L. Lynn (Eds.), Research in the So­ cial Scientific Study of Religion (Vol. I.) Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.