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Personality, Mental Health and Glossolalia

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This article reports on a survey of young men and women training for Pentecostal ministry. The survey was designed to test the relationship between glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, and personality. Personality theory, briefly outlined below, is complex and divided into several schools. For this reason it is necessary to show how findings derived from one school may be interpreted differently by another. Nevertheless, the general outline of previous work is clear. Most critically important for young men and women preparing for Pentecostal ministry is the fact that some research has questioned the mental health of those who speak in tongues. This article is able to show that, on the contrary, those who speak in tongues in the current sample under study are less neurotic than the general population. In order to demonstrate the validity of this thesis, this article will first outline the optional psychological theories of personality with their explanations of mental health and mental illness, then delineate the findings of various psychological studies of glossolalia, and finally present the results of our study of Pentecostal ministry candidates from a data analysis of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire.


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