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The Relationship of Psychological Type Preferences to Biblical Interpretation

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This paper tests the theory that lay people prefer interpretations of the bible that match their psychological type preferences. A sample of 404 lay, adult Anglicans from 11 different churches read a healing story from Mark's gospel and then chose between interpretative statements designed to appeal to particular psychological type preferences. Psychological type preferences were assessed according Jung's typology using the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS). Participants preferred interpretations that matched their personality preferences in both the perceiving (sensing versus intuition) and judging (feeling versus thinking) processes. Theological content may also have influenced choice independently of psychological type preferences because those with conservative rather than liberal attitudes to the bible also preferred sensing over intuitive and feeling over thinking interpretations.


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