Reanalysis within a Christian ideological surround: relationships of intrinsic religious orientation with Fundamentalism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism.
In recent years, a systematic program of research has led to the development of an ideological surround model of the psychology of religion (Watson, 1993, 1994). This model asserts that all research in the psychology of religion operates within a surround of ideological influences. "Ideology" in this instance refers to a somewhat non-empirical, normative, and sociological system of belief (MacIntyre, 1978, pp. 5-6). Most contemporary psychologists, for example, adopt a naturalistic ideological perspective. Innumerable scientific observations support naturalism, but the ultimate truth of the position currently lies beyond definitive empirical proof, making it somewhat non-empirical. Naturalism, nevertheless, has normative implications in that it differentiates between "good" and "bad" forms of belief. Causal explanations in terms of reductive materialistic processes tend to be "good." Beliefs in supernatural causes like God and Satan are "bad." At a sociological level, even an implicit commitment to this ideology unites a researcher with a large community of like-minded scholars.
A Christian research program would, of course, be every bit as sociological, normative, and somewhat non-empirical as a naturalistic or any other approach to the psychology of religion. Within a pluralistic cultural environment, no wholly objective, non-ideological foundation can ever be identified for conducting research into religion. This problem in no way justifies a nihilistic skepticism about empiricism. The ideological surround model argues instead that an empirical sensitivity to ideology is crucial in defending the "objectivity" of research. This would not be an "unbiased" objectivity. All research is conditioned by ideology and thus biased to some degree. The achievement of a "balanced" objectivity would be the goal. Evidence produced within social scientific ideological surrounds should be critiqued using evidence produced within religious ideological surrounds and rice versa. Movements back and forth between perspectives would yield a more balanced understanding of the psychological consequences of religion (Watson, 1993, p. 17).
Within a rational-emotive therapeutic framework, for instance, religion supposedly promotes the development of pathogenic irrational beliefs (Ellis, 1980), and at least some measures of these presumed irrationalities do correlate positively with religious commitments (e.g., Watson, Folbrecht, Morris, & Hood, 1990; Watson, Morris, Hood, & Folbrecht, 1990). Special
procedures, nevertheless, make it possible for individuals to indicate how rational-emotive belief measures should be scored as irrational relative to their own religious convictions. These religiously redefined irrationalities not only correlate negatively with sincere religious commitments, but they also can serve as more valid predictors of psychological dysfunction than the original rationalemotive constructs (Watson, Morris, & Hood, 1988, 1993, 1994; Watson, Milliron, Morris, & Hood, 1994). The apparent irrationality of religion, therefore, was at least partially the "unbalanced" empirical construction of a rational-emotive ideological surround. Other studies similarly have uncovered the potential contributions of ideology to research into existential confrontation (Watson, Hood, & Morris, 1988), self-actualization (Watson, Morris, & Hood, 1989), self-esteem (Watson, Morris, & Hood, 1987), social desirability (Watson, Morris, Foster, & Hood, 1986, study 5), and religious orientation (Watson, Morris, Hood, Milliron, & Stutz, 1998).
Fundamentalism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism
In broad terms, the present investigation explored the possible influences of ideology on findings that an intrinsic religious orientation correlates positively with both religious fundamentalism and right-wing authoritarianism (e.g., Altemeyer & Hunsberger, 1992). "Are religious persons usually good persons?" Altemeyer and Hunsberger (p. 113) ask that question and then give reasons for coming to an essentially negative conclusion. Among other things, religious individuals in general and "fundamentalists" in particular are right-wing authoritarians.
For Altemeyer and Hunsberger (1992), fundamentalism is "the belief that there is one set of religious teachings that dearly contains the fundamental, basic, intrinsic, essential, inerrant truth about humanity and deity; that this essential truth is fundamentally opposed by forces of evil which must be vigorously fought; that this truth must be followed today according to the fundamental, unchangeable practices of the past; and that those who believe and follow these fundamental teachings have a special relationship with the deity" (p. 118). Fundamentalism defined in this way describes "an attitude that might be found in many religions" (p. 118), and Christianity would, of course, be among them. The Christian Fundamentalist Belief Scale, for instance, lists 12 beliefs that are consistent with a biblical worldview (Gibson & Francis, 1996). Scale items include beliefs in hell, the virgin birth, Jesus as the Son of God, the resurrection, the return of Jesus, and the Bible as the word of God, to mention a few. Numerous findings indicate that this instrument correlates positively with Altemeyer and Hunsberger's broader Religious Fundamentalism Scale (e.g., Leak & Randall, 1995; Hunsberger, Pratt, & Pancer, 1994).
By right-wing authoritarianism, Altemeyer and Hunsberger mean "the covariation of authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism" (p. 114), and their Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale has displayed these three factors (McHoskey, 1996; Westman, Willink, & McHoskey, 2000). Illustrating submission is the belief that "obedience is the most important virtue children should learn." An example of aggression appears in the self-report that "our country will be great if we honor the ways of our forefathers, and get rid of those 'rotten apples' who are ruining everything." Conventionalism is evident in such reverse-scored statements as "there is nothing wrong with premarital intercourse." Correlations of Right-Wing Authoritarianism with Religious Fundamentalism have been quite robust. In one sample, Altemeyer and Hunsberger discovered a relationship of +.68, with similar and even stronger associations reported in other studies (e.g., Hunsberger, 1996; Hunsberger et al., 1994; Westman et al., 2000).
Especially relevant to the present study have been findings that Religious Fundamentalism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism correlate positively with the Allport and Ross (1967) Intrinsic Religious Orientation Scale (e.g., Altemeyer, 1988; Genia, 1996). Within an extrinsic motivation, religious beliefs theoretically operate as a maladaptive means to sometimes-selfish ends, but within an intrinsic motivation, religious commitments supposedly serve as the adaptive master motive in a believer's life. Indeed, the Allport and Ross Intrinsic and Extrinsic Religious Orientation Scales do generally predict adjustment and maladjustment, respectively (Donahue, 1985). Positive correlations with a fundamentalist authoritarianism, therefore, challenge any favorable interpretation of intrinsicness as a beneficial form of belief. The Intrinsic Scale, nevertheless, has been a useful tool in previous attempts to identify contributions of ideology to empirical findings (e.g., Watson, Morris, & Hood, 1989). The present study, therefore, sought to determine if Intrinsic Scale correlations with greater Religious Fundamentalism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism might at least partially reveal the biasing influences of ideology.
Altemeyer and Hunsberger (1992) developed their position within a rational, scientific ideological surround (Watson et al., 1998), and observations within that surround undoubtedly make important contributions to a balanced analysis of fundamentalism. High Religious Fundamentalism scores, for instance, might truly reflect the kind of cognitive rigidity measured by the Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale (Budner, 1962). Items from the Religious Fundamentalism Scale, nevertheless, describe "fundamentalism" relative to unsympathetic normative assumptions. The question remains whether an intrinsic commitment to the "fundamentals" must always imply cognitive rigidity and other forms of maladjustment. Should sincere beliefs in the virgin birth, Jesus as the Son of God, and the resurrection be taken as invariant signs of psychosocial dysfunction (e.g., Slater, Hall, & Edwards, 2001, p. 14)? Does the Altemeyer and Hunsberger instrument exhaustively describe the adjustment potentials of intrinsically believing in the "fundamentals?" In exploring these questions, the present project examined whether "fundamentalism" might have more positive implications if statements from the Religious Fundamentalism Scale were reframed within a sympathetic biblical rather than an unsympathetic rational, scientific ideological surround.
This objective can be accomplished by using empirical procedures to translate items from the language of one ideological surround into the language of another (Watson, Milliron, Morris, & Hood, 1995). In this study, research participants responded to the original Religious Fundamentalism Scale plus two potential translations of each item from that scale. Each translation expressed the original idea in terms that suggested more positive possibilities for psychosocial functioning. A direct relationship with the Intrinsic Scale served as the criterion for identifying the successful translation of a more adaptive "foundationalism" that was compatible with a biblical ideological surround.
In this translation process, the first step was to hypothesize how each original scale item described "fundamentalism" in unnecessarily negative terms. The translation then sought to restate the same basic idea in words that bad more positive implications and that were still compatible with a biblical framework. For instance, one Religious Fundamentalism item claimed, "Whenever science and sacred scripture conflict, science must be wrong." The apparent assumption was that fundamentalism requires a reactionary rejection of any scientific discovery that is not easily assimilated into religious faith. In opposition to this possibility, one translation suggested, "God's hand is in all creation and in all truth; so, conflicts between faith and science should not frighten us, but rather inspire us to seek God's truth."
Several items from the Religious Fundamentalism Scale also implied that beliefs about Satan and evil (a) can have no empirical referents, (b) represent an irrational misperception of the normal "bad impulses" of human beings, and/or (c) reflect tendencies to project disturbing personal characteristics on to others. One reverse scored statement said, for example, "'Satan' is just the name that people give their own bad impulses. There really is no such thing as a diabolical 'Prince of Darkness' who tempts us." Another positively scored item claimed, "The basic cause of evil in this world is Satan, who is constantly and ferociously fighting against God." Such beliefs nevertheless might have empirical referents that are not easily dismissed as evidence of mere bad impulses. They also might be part of efforts to take responsibility for disturbing personal characteristics. For instance, one translation asserted, "The bloodshed of human history makes it clear that evil cannot be dismissed as the effect merely of 'bad human impulses.' The reality of evil is captured instead in the biblical depiction of Satan as the 'Prince of Darkness' who tempts us." Another stated, "To take responsibility for myself, I must remember that Satan was able to enter into Judas and that he is fighting ferociously against God to cause all evil in the world and in me."
Translation items that correlated positively with the Intrinsic Scale were combined into a Biblical Foundationalism Scale. The meaning of this new instrument was explored by examining its associations with other variables. As a successful translation, this more adaptive Biblical Foundationalism presumably would be like the Intrinsic and the Christian Fundamentalist Belief (Gibson & Francis, 1996) Scales in correlating positively with the more maladaptive Religious Fundamentalism Scale. Partial correlations, therefore, were computed so that linkages among Biblical Foundationalism and all other variables, including the Intrinsic, Extrinsic, Christian Fundamentalist Belief, and Intolerance of Ambiguity Scales, could be reevaluated after controlling for the more disturbing elements of fundamentalism as measured by the Altemeyer and Hunsberger (1992) instrument. In other words, partial correlations sought to discover a matrix of relationships describing a healthier intrinsic allegiance to a biblical worldview that was not evident in or influenced by variance captured by the unhealthier Religious Fundamentalism Scale.
Another demonstration of the ideological surround model is that social scientific misrepresentations of religion can occur through a tautological empiricism. Within a humanistic ideological surround, for instance, traditional religious commitments sometimes are depicted as incompatible with self-actualization (e.g., Maslow, 1987). A psychological scale consequently can include statements that identify a rejection of traditional religion as a sign of self-actualization. A negative correlation between religion and self-actualization, therefore, can be at least somewhat tautological because statements of relevance to religion within a self-actualization scale correlate inversely with statements supposedly relevant to self-actualization within a religion scale (Watson, 1993). This type of "vicious circularity" may be a general feature of questionnaire research (Nicholls, Licht, & Pearl, 1982), and special procedures may be necessary to minimize this potential effect of ideology in the psychology of religion (e.g., Watson, Hood, & Morris, 1988; Watson, Morris, & Hood, 1989).
An examination of the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale suggests that at least some of its items may create a misleading circularity when used with religious constructs. One reverse scored item states, for example, "People should pay less attention to the Bible and the other traditional forms of religious guidance, and instead develop their own personal standards of what is moral and immoral." By definition, a Bible-believing Christian would have to respond in the 'authoritarian" direction by rejecting this statement. Previous linkages of intrinsic religiousness with right-wing authoritarianism, therefore, may have reflected at least in part an ideologically driven circularity built into the measuring instruments. That possibility was explored in the present study by defining the religious ideological meanings of all RightWing Authoritarianism items. The focus was on one most important question: To what extent is the positive intrinsic-authoritarianism relationship attributable to an ideologically anti-religious content built into the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale?
In summary, this study examined whether ideology influenced previously reported associations of Religious Fundamentalism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism with an intrinsic allegiance to the "fundamentals" of Christianity. Support for this possibility would appear in the confirmation of two broad sets of hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: A Biblical Foundationalism Scale would translate Religious Fundamentalism into a language that expressed a healthier intrinsic commitment to a biblical worldview. In other words, after variance associated with Religious Fundamentalism was removed, the Intrinsic, Biblical Foundationalism, and Christian Fundamentalist Belief Scales would correlate positively among themselves, and the supposedly more adaptive intrinsic motivation in particular would correlate negatively with the Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale.
Hypothesis 2: Correlations of the Intrinsic Scale with right-wing authoritarianism would be at least partially explained by an ideologically antireligious content within the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale. In addition, even clearer evidence of adjustment would appear for the Intrinsic, Biblical Foundationalism, and/or Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scales when antireligious elements within the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale were partialed out as well. These scales, in other words, would more likely display negative partial correlations with Intolerance of Ambiguity and Right-Wing Authoritarianism.
Participants were 149 male and 258 female students enrolled in Introductory Psychology classes at a branch campus of a Southeastern state university. Each received extra course credit for contributing to the project. The average age was 19.3 (SD = 2.32), and the sample was 76.2% Caucasian, 19.2% African-American, and 4.6% belonging to other racial groups. Religious affiliations were 43.7% Baptist, 12.3% Methodist, 9.1% Catholic, 6.6% Presbyterian, 5.9% Church of Christ, 2.7% Church of God, 6.9% "Other Protestant," and 12.8% indicating various other religious stances.
All measures were included in a booklet that began with the Allport and Ross Intrinsic (M for 9 items = 31.72, SD = 8.03, alpha = .83) and Extrinsic (M for 11 items = 27.76, SD = 6.95, alpha = .67) Religious Orientation Scales. These instruments were administered according to standard instructions (Robinson & Shaver, 1973).
Reactions to all other measures occurred along a 0 to 4 (strongly disagree to strongly agree) scale. These included the Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale (M for 12 items = 39.73, SD = 11.25, alpha = .96) followed in turn by Religious Fundamentalism (M for 20 items = 43.25, SD = 14.34, alpha = .90), 40 potential translations of Religious Fundamentalism items, Right-Wing Authoritarianism (M for 30 items = 69.50, SD = 15.18, alpha = .88), and the Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale (Budner, 1962: M for 16 items = 29.53, SD = 7.96, alpha = .56).
Analysis of the Extrinsic Scale focused on the Extrinsic-Personal (M for 3 items = 9.66, SD = 2.87, alpha = .57) and the Extrinsic-Social (M for 3 items = 6.41, SD = 2.66, alpha = .53) factors along with the five Extrinsic-Residual items (M = 11.69, SD = 3.96, alpha = .53) identified by Kirkpatrick (1989). Inverse correlations with the Intrinsic Scale indicate that Extrinsic-Residual items largely express an intrinsic religiousness that is scored in the reversed direction (i.e., an "anti-intrinsicness," Kirkpatrick, 1989). As previously noted, the Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale records adherence to such basic articles of orthodox Christian belief as the virgin birth, resurrection, existence of hell, and performance of miracles by Jesus. Again, the Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale describes a kind of rigidity and inability to cope with uncertainty that can correlate positively with religiousness (e.g., Genia, 1996).
Two preliminary tasks were accomplished before administration of the questionnaires. First, two potential translations were developed for each of the 20 statements from the Religious Fundamentalism Scale. Second, the religious ideological implications of all Right-Wing Authoritarianism items were evaluated by a group of five individuals. Four members of this group were students and one was a faculty member in a Masters-level Christian counseling program. Out of a maximum of 48, these individuals displayed an average Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs score of 46.0 (SD = 0.89), documenting their strong commitment to traditional Christian beliefs. These individuals had no prior familiarity with the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale. For instance, they were unaware of its factor structure during the evaluation process.
The five evaluators independently explored the ideological meanings of each authoritarianism item before participating in group discussions of the issue. If traditional Christian assumptions seemed to be consistent with an authoritarian response, a statement was defined as "anti-religious." Christian tendencies to promote responding in the opposite direction identified an item as "pro-religious." The group as a whole discussed reasons why an item might be evaluated in one way or the other, and then each person voted to define a statement as pro-religious of anti-religious.
This procedure resulted in the full range of possible outcomes. An item was defined as clearly ideological if at least four of the five votes agreed. A three to two vote in either direction described an ambiguous statement. In short, these deliberations led to the creation of three Right-Wing Authoritarianism subscales reflecting anti-religious (RWA-Anti), ambiguous (RWA-Amb), and pro-religious (RWAPro) ideological stances.
Questionnaires were administered to subjects in groups of varying size that ranged from five to approximately 150. Responses to each scale were recorded on standardized answer sheets that subsequently were read by optical scanning equipment into a computer data file.
Thirty-one of 40 potential translations of Religious Fundamentalism items met the criterion of correlating positively with the Intrinsic Scale. For only three out of 20 original statements were both translations unsuccessful. These original scale items stated that "all of the religions of the world have flaws and wrong teachings," that "different religions and philosophies have different versions of the truth and may be equally true in their own way," and that "it is more important to be a good person than to believe in God and the right religion."
In a preliminary examination, all 31 successful translations were entered into a principal components analysis. Six factors displayed eigenvalues greater than 1.0; however, the 12.24 eigenvalue observed for the first component was much higher than the 1.01 to 1.78 values observed for the other five. This 15-item factor also correlated .96 with the full 31-item measure and was associated with an alpha of .95. This component, therefore, was employed as an easier-to-describe Biblical Foundationalism Scale (M = 41.42, SD = 11.81).
Table 1 presents these 15 statements along with the Religious Fundamentalism items for which they served as a translation. In broad terms, the original items seemed to express a judgmental belief system characterized by a "splitting" in which everything within the faith was "good" and everything outside the faith was "evil." In contrast, the translations tended to frame "good" and "evil" both within and outside the faith in terms of blessings universally made available by a benevolent, loving, and forgiving God.
Of the 30 Right-Wing Authoritarianism items, seven were pro-religious (RWA-Pro M = 12.66, SD = 4.25, alpha = .72), 11 were ambiguous (RWA-Amb M = 23.31, SD = 5.91, alpha = .69), and 12 were anti-religious (RWA-Anti M = 29.53, SD = 7.96, alpha = .82). Two patterns were obvious in these data. First, the ideological content of the statements varied with the factor structure of the scale. Within the aggression factor, four statements were pro-religious (items 1, 5, 14, 22; see page 129 in Altemeyer and Hunsberger, 1992), two were ambiguous (items 9, 28), and one was anti-religious (item 6). For submission, three were pro-religious (items 11, 17, 23), six ambiguous (items 3, 15, 16, 19, 27, 30), and five anti-religious (items 2, 7, 12, 26, 29). The conventionalism factor included no pro-religious, three ambiguous (items 18, 20, 21), and six anti-religious (items 4, 8, 10, 13, 24, 29) statements. Ignoring the ambiguous category and the submission factor, therefore, aggression items were more likely to be pro-religious and less likely to be anti-religious whereas the opposite was true of conventionalism (p < .05, Fisher's Exact Test).
Second, differences appeared between positively and reverse scored items. Positively worded items included six pro-religious (items 1, 5, 14, 17, 22, 23), six ambiguous (items 3, 9, 16, 19, 28, 30), and three anti-religious (items 6, 12, 26) statements. For the reverse scored items, one was pro-religious (item 11), five were ambiguous (items 15, 18, 20, 21, 27), and nine were anti-religious (items 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 13, 24, 25, 29). Again ignoring the ambiguous statements, positively worded statements were more proreligious and less antireligious whereas the opposite was true of the reverse scored items (p < .05, Fisher's Exact Test).
Table 2 presents the zero-order correlations among all measures. As in previous studies, the Intrinsic Scale correlated positively with Religious Fundamentalism, Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism. An inverse relationship also appeared, as expected, with the Extrinsic-Residual items. Most importantly, however, the Intrinsic association with authoritarianism was attributable solely to the RWAAmb and RWA-Anti items.
A strong correlation with Religious Fundamentalism confirmed that the Biblical Foundationalism Scale was a successfull translation of the original measure. Biblical Foundationalism also predicted lower Extrinsic-Residual scores and higher levels of intrinsicness, Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and all three elements of authoritarianism. The linkage with Intolerance of Ambiguity was weaker for Biblical Foundationalism than for Religious Fundamentalism [t (404) = -3.85, p < .001]. In addition, the positive correlation of Biblical Foundationalism with the RWA-Pro items was weaker than with the RWA-Amb [t(404) = -11.38,p< .001] and the RWA-Anti [t(404) = -11.62,p<.001] measures.
Partialing out Religious Fundamentalism reduced but did not eliminate correlations of the Intrinsic Scale with Biblical Foundationalism and Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs (see Table 3). At the same time, intrinsicness correlated inversely rather than directly with Intolerance of Ambiguity, nonsignificantly rather than positively with RWA-Amb, and inversely rather than nonsignificantly with the Extrinsic-Social factor and RWA-Pro items. The linkage between Biblical Foundationalism and RWA-Pro scores also became nonsignificant rather than positive.
Since RWA-Amb and RWA-Anti correlated positively with Biblical Foundationalism and Intolerance of Ambiguity, both were partialed out along with Religious Fundamentalism in the final partial correlations. Table 4 reveals that in these final analyses, Biblical Foundationalism still predicted greater intrinsicness and Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs, but also correlated negatively rather than positively with Intolerance of Ambiguity and nonsignificantly rather than positively with Right-Wing Authoritarianism. All three measures of extrinsicness, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism correlated positively. These variables, therefore, continued to define a matrix of maladjusted characteristics that sometimes displayed negative relationships with the apparent adjustment of the Intrinsic and/or Biblical Foundationalism Scales.
The Intrinsic Religious Orientation Scale is frequently used to operationalize a more adaptive religious motivation (Donahue, 1985). Robust correlations with Right-Wing Authoritarianism and with a Religious Fundamentalism that predicts greater authoritarianism, nevertheless, challenge all sanguine interpretations of this construct. Indeed, in the present sample, the Intrinsic Scale once again predicted greater Right-Wing Authoritarianism and Religious Fundamentalism. This investigation, nevertheless, sought to demonstrate that these disturbing patterns of relationship were at least partially attributable to ideological factors. Support for that possibility came in the confirmation of two broad sets of hypotheses.
First, empirical procedures were employed to translate Religious Fundamentalism into a Biblical
Foundationalism that was consistent with both intrinsicness and a commitment to basic Christian beliefs. Religious Fundamentalism articulated a judgmental belief system, but Biblical Foundationalism expressed a faith more grounded in the vision of a universally loving and forgiving God. Strong correlations between these two measures proved the adequacy of the translation. However, Biblical Foundationalism did not correlate as strongly as Religious Fundamentalism with greater Intolerance of Ambiguity. In addition, partialing out Religious Fundamentalism did not eliminate the significant linkages among the lntrinsic, Biblical Foundationalism, and Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scales; yet, the Intrinsic Scale correlated negatively rather than positively with Intolerance of Ambiguity. Biblical Foundationalism also became a nonsignificant rather than a positive predictor of Intolerance of Ambiguity. These partial correlations, therefore, revealed that the original Religious Fundamentalism Scale failed to account for variance associated with the more positive possibilities of a biblical intrinsicness.
Second, analysis of the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale confirmed the existence of an ideological content that explained its connection with the Intrinsic Scale. Some authoritarianism statements did convey pro-religious sentiments. Several from the aggression factor, for example, expressed a need for society to eliminate dangerous "rotten-apples" and troublemakers. For the evaluators, Jesus was precisely this kind of "troublemaker;" so, religious commitments seemed to promote a rejection of these authoritarian beliefs. However, far more items were ideologically ambiguous and anti-religious, and correlations indicated that the sample largely read the ambiguous items as being anti-religious as well.
The conventionalism factor especially included anti-religious elements. To avoid being characterized as authoritarian on these items, a religious individual would have to believe that people should pay less attention to the Bible (item 4), that premarital intercourse is in no way wrong (item 8), that homosexuality has no immoral implications (item 10), that there is no "one right way" to live (item 13), that modesty and sexual behavior are just arbitrary customs (item 24), and that students must be taught to challenge parents, authorities, and traditions (item 29). These items clearly refer to norms of a Christian ideological surround, and inclusion of these statements within the scale may help produce relationships with religion and with variables of relevance to traditional Christian morality (e.g., Laythe, Finkel, & Kirkpatrick, 2001).
Another pattern appeared in differences between the positive and reverse scored items. Ideological evaluations of the positive statements leaned in a pro-religious direction. In other words, religious commitments enhanced the probability of rejecting statements that expressed an unmitigated authoritarianism. In contrast, evaluations of the reverse scored items moved in a more antireligious direction. Rather than directly expressing an unacceptable authoritarianism, these items tended to articulate liberal, progressive views that were incompatible with authoritarianism. In addition to the six antireligious conventional items mentioned above, these statements included assertions that it is wonderful that young people can protest and do anything they want these days (item 2), that elimination of the traditional family will be a step forward (item 7), and that "there is absolutely nothing wrong with nudist camps" (item 25). But does rejection of a liberal, progressive position necessarily reflect authoritarianism? To see the issue in such terms is to adopt the same polarized, ideologically "split" analysis of "good" and "evil" that at least implicitly is the complaint against fundamentalism. Evaluation of the reverse scored items suggested instead that these beliefs could be rejected for religious rather than for authoritarian reasons.
Clearest evidence of ideological bias within the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale came in the zeroorder and partial correlations. The RWA-Amb and RWA-Anti items produced the zero-order Intrinsic Scale relationship with authoritarianism, and the association of Biblical Foundationalism with RWAPro was weaker than with the RWA-Amb and RWAAnti variables. When Religious Fundamentalism was partialed out, the Intrinsic Scale predicted lower rather than greater Intolerance of Ambiguity. In addition, intrinsicness correlated inversely with RWA-Pro, nonsignificantly with RWA-Amb, and positively with RWA-Anti items. This latter pattern not only confirmed the influence of ideology, but documented the validity of the evaluation procedures as well. Biblical Foundationalism also no longer correlated positively with RWA-Pro after removal of Religious Fundamentalism. When RWA-Amb and RWA-Anti were partialed out as well, Biblical Foundationalism for the first time correlated inversely rather than directly with Intolerance of Ambiguity. In short, all of these findings testified to the noteworthy impact of ideology on observed relationships.
Of further importance were findings that the Intrinsic, Biblical Foundationalism, and Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scales covaried directly in all of the zero-order and partial correlations. Hence, a biblical intrinsicness was examined in each step of the analysis. In addition, the Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and the Extrinsic factors correlated directly throughout, confirming that they remained measures of more maladaptive functioning in all statistical procedures. Changes in the Intrinsic and Biblical Foundationalism relationships with these measures, therefore, could not be dismissed with the suggestion that partial correlations eliminated the maladjustment associated with authoritarianism, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and/or extrinsicness.
To demonstrate that ideological factors can influence research into a biblical intrinsicness in no way means that traditional religious commitments must be without liabilities. The ideological surround model argues that movements back and forth between religious and nonreligious surrounds may be essential in achieving a balanced objectivity about the "good" and "bad" of religion (and of the nonreligious perspectives used to study religion). For those with religious commitments, such studies could deepen personal understandings of the faith. They also could encourage explorations of a tradition for the resources needed to redress documented liabilities. The effort to translate Religious Fundamentalism into Biblical Foundationalism represented precisely that kind of activity. In addition, the creation of even more adaptive operationalizations of a biblical intrinsicness might be possible because Biblical Foundationalism was developed with the Religious Fundamentalism Scale as a necessary point of departure. In future research, a more sympathetic point of departure from within the tradition might yield even purer measures of a healthy biblical worldview. Negative partial correlations with the Intrinsic Scale also suggested that the Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale might need to be translated into the language of a Christian ideological surround.
The present investigation focused on the Intrinsic Scale when this instrument recently has been the target of complex and diverse critiques. Among the complaints, for instance, have been arguments that the Allport and Ross scales reflect an inappropriate values-laden differentiation between "good" and "bad" religion (Kirkpatrick & Hood, 1990), and that Allport failed to appreciate the beneficial influences of a religious extrinsicness (Pargament, 1992). A "balanced" evaluation of the present findings would of course remain sensitive to these and all other relevant criticisms.
Within an ideological surround, however, the notion that religion can be examined without normative assumptions suggests the mystifications of a positivist ideological surround. Even at the most simplistic level, any assertion that the study of "good" and "bad" religion is "bad" reflects a self-contradictory norm that rejects norms. A more self-consistent approach presumably would admit the central importance of normative elements within religion. Theoretically meaningful progress in the psychology of religion then might require an understanding of how religious measures can be conceptualized as "good" and "bad" both within and outside of religious ideological surrounds. Decades of research have made it possible for the Allport and Ross scales to help supply that understanding (Masters, 1991).
In addition, the intrinsic-extrinsic distinction appears to be relevant to at least some religions besides Christianity (Watson & Ghorbani, 1998). Recent investigations, for example, have demonstrated that the Intrinsic and Extrinsic Scales yield insight into Iranian Muslim as well as American Christian religious commitments (Ghorbani, Watson, Ghramaleki, Morris, & Hood, 2002). In both societies, measures of extrinsicness can predict relative mental health, just as recent critics have argued (Pargament, 1992). Such relationships, nevertheless, are almost wholly explained by a covariance of extrinsic measures with the Intrinsic Scale (Ghorbani et al., 2002; Watson, Ghorbani et al., 2002). In short, the present and previous data have confirmed that the Allport and Ross Scales have important contributions to make to an empirical psychology of religion. A failure to use these instruments would mean losing the productive potendais of a decades-long research tradition.
In a recent review, Jelen (2000) offered a lukewarm evaluation of a sociological book that argued against negative stereotypes of evangelicals by demonstrating that evangelicals were "tolerant of differences between themselves and nonevangelicals" and that they "hold a healthy respect for their own limitations" (p. 215). Jelen's quibble with the work was that all this was "very old news to scholars who ... study the social and political consequences of religion" (p. 215). As editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Jelen further notes, "I occasionally receive submissions in which the finding that 'evangelicalism' (or fundamentalism, or Bible-believing Christianity) is not significantly related to authoritarianism (or racism, dogmatism, or anti-Semitism) is presented as an important new discovery" (p. 217). But why should some social scientists see this as "an important new discovery" whereas others view it as "very old news"? As suggested by the present data, the answer to that question may be found in the impact of ideology on this literature.
Table 1 Original Fundamentalism Item and 15 out of 31 Translations Loading on the First Factor 1 God has given mankind a complete, unfailing guide to happiness and salvation, which must be totally followed. 1. We should accept the Bible as God's gift to us to follow completely so that we can achieve the peace and salvation that he desires for us. (.69***/.78) 2. A loving and forgiving God has presented us with an unfailing guide to peace and salvation, and our goal should be to follow it totally. (.65***/.80) Of all the people of this earth, one group has a special relationship with God because it believes the most in his revealed truths and tries the hardest to follow his laws. 3. The Bible tells me that God offers all people an opportunity to have a special relationship with him by believing in his revealed truths and by following his laws. (.47***/.62) When you get right down to it, there are two kinds of people in the world: the Righteous, who will be rewarded by God, and the rest, who will not. 4. When you get right down to it, there are two kinds of people in the world: the Righteous, sinners who have accepted the forgiveness of God, and the rest, sinners who God hopes will accept his forgiveness in the future. (.44* **/.52) The basic cause of evil in this world is Satan, who is constantly and ferociously fighting against God. 5. Like Jesus, I must learn to see the signs in my life that will help me understand how Satan is fighting against God to cause evil in the world and in me. (.53***/.66) 6. To take responsibility for myself, I must remember that Satan was able to enter into Judas and that he is fighting ferociously against God to cause all evil in the world and in me. (.47***/.67) God will punish most severely those who abandon his true religion. 7. God has created a universe in which punishment is the unavoidable consequence of failing to follow the love and sacrifice modeled by Christ. (.40***/.55) No single book of religious writings contains all the important truths about life. 8. No single individual has the wisdom to recognize all truth; so, God gave us the Bible as a guide in our struggles to discover the complex truths that life presents us. (.46***/.67) God's true followers must remember that he requires them to constantly fight Satan and Satan's allies in this earth 9. By taking seriously the biblical stories of Satan, God's true followers will admit the potential reality o f evil in themselves and in the world, and this will encourage them to constantly fight against Satan and Satan's allies on this earth. (.47***/.63) 10. The atrocities of 20th Century history should convince us that the Bible is right about the reality of Evil and about our responsibility to constantly fight against Satan and Satan's allies on this earth. (.47***/.71) Satan is just the name people give to their own bad impulses. There really is no such thing as a diabolical "Prince of Darkness" who tempts us. 11. The bloodshed of human history makes it clear that evil cannot be dismissed as the effect merely of "bad human impulses." The reality of evil is captured instead in the biblical depiction of Satan as the "Prince of Darkness" who tempts us. (.49***/.71) Whenever science and sacred scripture conflict, science must be wrong (reverse scored). 12. Whenever science and sacred scripture are in conflict, my faith remains firm because I am confident that both science and our understanding of the Bible will eventually confirm God's word. (.48* **/.63) 13. God's hand is in all creation and in all truth; so, conflicts between faith and science should not frighten us, but rather should inspire us to seek God's truth. (.52***/.70) To lead the best, most meaningful life, one must belong to the one, true religion. 14. Christ's perfect faith in God shows us the best, most meaningful life that we can aspire to in this world. (.58***/.77) 15. Only by accepting the love and forgiveness that God has given us through Christ can we achieve the best and most meaningful life that is available in this world. (.62***/.77) * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 (1) Numbers in parentheses present the correlation with Intrinsic Scale and the factor loading, respectively. Table 2 Correlations among Religious, Intolerance ofAmbiguity, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism Measures Measures 1. 2. 3. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale -- .67 *** .69 *** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale -- .73 *** 3. Religious Fundamentalism Scale -- 4. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale 5. Extrinsic-Personal Factor 6. Extrinsic-Social Factor 7. Extrinsic-Residual Items 8. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale 9. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale 10. RWA-Pro Items 11. RWA-Amb Items 12. RWA-Anti Items Measures 4. 5. 6. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale .58 *** .06 -.04 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale .71 *** .07 .06 3. Religious Fundamentalism Scale .60 *** .04 .06 4. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale -- .14 ** .07 5. Extrinsic-Personal Factor -- .31 *** 6. Extrinsic-Social Factor -- 7. Extrinsic-Residual Items 8. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale 9. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale 10. RWA-Pro Items 11. RWA-Amb Items 12. RWA-Anti Items Measures 7. 8. 9. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale -.52 *** .16 ** .57 *** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale -.33 *** .24 *** .66 *** 3. Religious Fundamentalism Scale -.45 *** .37 *** .72 *** 4. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale .28 *** .27 *** .58 *** 5. Extrinsic-Personal Factor .29 *** .17 * .10 * 6. Extrinsic-Social Factor .28 *** .21 *** .14 ** 7. Extrinsic-Residual Items -- .00 -.28 *** 8. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale -- .50 *** 9. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale -- 10. RWA-Pro Items 11. RWA-Amb Items 12. RWA-Anti Items Measures 10. 11. 12. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale .06 .51 *** .67 *** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale .20 *** .62 *** .70 *** 3. Religious Fundamentalism Scale .22 *** .67 *** .77 *** 4. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale .25 *** .53 *** .57 *** 5. Extrinsic-Personal Factor .18 *** .09 .02 6. Extrinsic-Social Factor .25 *** .13 ** .03 7. Extrinsic-Residual Items .13 * -.24 *** -.42 *** 8. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale .42 *** .47 *** .38 *** 9. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale .63 *** .93 *** .88 *** 10. RWA-Pro Items -- .54 *** .27 *** 11. RWA-Amb Items -- .73 *** 12. RWA-Anti Items -- * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 Table 3 Partial Correlations among Religious, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism Measures after Controlling for Religious Fundamentalism Measures 1. 2. 3. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale -- .33 *** .28 *** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale -- .49 *** 3. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale -- 4. Extrinsic-Personal Factor 5. Extrinsic-Social Factor 6. Extrinsic-Residual Items 7. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale 8. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale 9. RWA-Pro Items 10. RWA-Amb Items 11. RWA-Anti Items Measures 4. 5. 6. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale .04 -.11 * -.33 *** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale .06 .02 .00 3. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale .14 ** .04 -.02 4. Extrinsic-Personal Factor -- .31 *** .35 *** 5. Extrinsic-Social Factor -- .35 *** 6. Extrinsic-Residual Items -- 7. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale 8. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale 9. RWA-Pro Items 10. RWA-Amb Items 11. RWA-Anti Items Measures 7. 8. 9. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale -.13 ** .13 ** -.14 ** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale -.05 .28 *** .06 3. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale .06 .26 *** .15 ** 4. Extrinsic-Personal Factor .17 *** .09 .18 *** 5. Extrinsic-Social Factor .20 *** .14 ** .24 *** 6. Extrinsic-Residual Items .20 *** .08 .26 *** 7. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale -- .36 *** .37 *** 8. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale -- .69 *** 9. RWA-Pro Items -- 10. RWA-Amb Items 11. RWA-Anti Items Measures 10. 11. 1. Intrinsic Orientation Scale .09 .30 *** 2. Biblical Foundationalism Scale .26 *** .31 *** 3. Christian Fundamentalist Beliefs Scale .22 *** .21 *** 4. Extrinsic-Personal Factor .09 -.02 5. Extrinsic-Social Factor .13 * -.02 6. Extrinsic-Residual Items .09 -.13 ** 7. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale .32 *** .16 ** 8. Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) Scale .86 *** .74 *** 9. RWA-Pro Items .54 *** .15 ** 10. RWA-Amb Items 11. RWA-Anti Items -- * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 Table 4 Partial Correlations among Religious, Intolerance of Ambiguity, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism after Controlling for Religious Fundamentalism and the RWA-Amb and RWA-Anti Items Measures 1. 2. 3. 4. 1 Intrinsic Orientation -- .27 *** .25 *** .06 Scale 2. Biblical Foundationalism -- .45 *** .05 Scale 3. Christian Fundamentalist -- .14 ** Beliefs Scale 4. Extrinsic-Personal -- Factor 5. Extrinsic-Social Factor 6. Extrinsic-Residual Items 7. Intolerance of Ambiguity Scale 8. Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale Measures 5. 6. 7. 8. 1 Intrinsic Orientation -.09 -.30 *** -.18 *** .19 *** Scale 2. Biblical Foundationalism .01 .02 -.15 ** -.07 Scale 3. Christian Fundamentalist .03 -.02 -.01 .05 Beliefs Scale 4. Extrinsic-Personal .30 *** .34 *** .15 ** .15 ** Factor 5. Extrinsic-Social -- .33 *** .17 ** .20 ** Factor 6. Extrinsic-Residual -- .18 *** .23 *** Items 7. Intolerance of Ambiguity -- .25 *** Scale 8. Right-Wing -- Authoritarianism Scale * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001
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WATSON, P. J. Address: Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403. Title: Professor of Psychology. Degree: BA, University of Texas at El Paso; PhD, University of Texas at Arlington. Specializations: Psychology and religion, personality theory.
SAWYERS, PAULINE. Address: Psychological Studies Institute, Atlanta Campus, Atlanta, Georgia 30327. Title: Assistant Professor of Counseling and Psychology. Degree: BS, University of Alberta; MS, PhD, University of New Mexico. Specializations: Chemical dependence, gender issues.
MORRIS, RONALD J. Address: Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403. Title: Instructor of Psychology. Degree: BS, MS, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Specializations: Psychology and religion.
CARPENTER, MARK L.. Address: Psychological Studies Institute, Chattanooga Campus, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404. Title: Graduate student. Degree: BS, Covenant College. Specializations: Christian Counseling.
JIMENEZ, RACHEL S. Address: Psychological Studies Institute, Chattanooga Campus, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404. Title: Graduate student. Degree: BA, Covenant College. Specializations: Christian Counseling.
JONAS, KATHERINE A. Address: Psychological Studies Institute, Chattanooga Campus, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404. Title: Graduate student. Degree: BA King College; MAT, Columbia International University. Specializations: Child and Adolescent Christian Counseling.
ROBINSON, DAVID L. Address: Psychological Studies Institute, Chattanooga Campus, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404. Title: Graduatc student. Degree: BA, Bryan College; BS, Tennessee
Address all correspondence to P.J. Watson, Psychology/Dept. #2803, 350 Holt Hall--615 McCallie Avenue, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 37403. The e-mail address is email@example.com.
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|Author:||Robinson, David L.|
|Publication:||Journal of Psychology and Theology|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2003|
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