Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Clark, M.

Second Advisor

Komarraju, Meera

Abstract

Many researchers have examined religiosity, including measures of religiosity. However, researchers studying religiosity have often ignored behaviors associated with religion. The present research attempts to open up this area by constructing a measure of religiosity based completely on a study of overt behavior. The Behavioral Religiosity Inventory (BRI) determines which specific behaviors participants express as devotion to their religions and how much time they spend engaging in those religious activities. This measure of religiosity was constructed from responses given as part of focus groups, which provided valuable information about the daily religious life of college students. Three hundred ten college students were recruited and successfully completed all of the measures and requirements of this study, which included the BRI, and four other scales and demographic questions to validate the new measure. An exploratory factor analysis indicated that the BRI could assess three factors, Independent Activities, Ritualistic Traditional Activities, and Group Activities. Internal consistency was excellent for the overall survey, and the Independent and Group Activities factors. Finally, the validity coefficients comparing the BRI and the other measures of religiosity supported the validity of the BRI. The measure seemed to be well supported by all evidence.

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