Mental health, religion & culture.
Previous research has demonstrated a connection between prayer and personality type. In this study, Francis and Robbins sought to extend this research by applying Jungian psychological type theory to prayer. Specifically, they hypothesized that the eight personality types operationalized by the Myers-Brigg and other psychometric tests would correspond to specific prayer preferences. Consistent with the personality types, the prayer preferences included extraverted prayer, introverted prayer, sensing prayer, intuitive prayer, thinking prayer, feeling prayer, judging prayer, and perceiving prayer.
Francis and Robbins explored their hypothesis by mailing self-report questionnaires on personality and prayer preferences to Anglican deacons in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The response rate was almost 50%, resulting in 1,476 completed questionnaires. The sample contained more men (n = 858) than women (n = 618). Personality type was measured using the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and prayer preferences were measured through a newly created battery of 80 items. The data was analyzed with a variety of statistics, including reliability, correlational, breakdown, t-test, and factor routines.
Consistent with the hypotheses, the results indicated that peoples' personality types were positively related with the corresponding prayer preferences. For example, people who scored high on the introversion scale were also more likely to score high on preferring introverted prayer; introverted prayer was characterized by aspects such as praying alone, praying in silence, meditating, and valuing stillness. It should be noted that three of the scales (i.e. intuitive prayer, sensing prayer, and thinking prayer) demonstrated low alpha coefficients (i.e. below .65), thus indicating that these areas in particular may warrant further research.
This section of the Journal attempts to keep readers informed of current resources of an integrative nature or those related to the general field of the psychology of religion appearing in other professional journals. A wide range of psychological and theological journals are surveyed regularly in search of such resources. The editor of the Journal File welcomes correspondence from readers concerning relevant theoretical or research articles in domestic or foreign journals which contribute directly or indirectly to the task and process of integration and to an understanding of the psychology of religion.
Francis, L. J., & Robbins, M. (2008).
Psychological type and prayer preferences:
A study among Anglican clergy in the
Vol. 11(1), 67-84