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Dialogical Validity of Religious Measures in Iran: Relationships with Integrative Self-Knowledge and Self-Control of the “Perfect Man” (Ensān-e Kāmel)

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According to the ideological surround model of research, a more “objective” psychology of religion requires efforts to bring etic social scientific and emic religious perspectives into formal dialog. This study of 245 Iranian university students illustrated how the dialogical validity of widely used etic measures of religion can be assessed by examining an emic religious perspective on psychology. Integrative Self-Knowledge and Self-Control Scales recorded two aspects of the “Perfect Man” (Ensān-e Kāmel) as described by the Iranian Muslim philosopher Mortazā Motahharī. Use of these instruments in correlation and multiple regression procedures identified Intrinsic, Extrinsic Personal, Religious Interpretation, Extrovertive Mysticism, Prayer Fulfillment, Universality, Connectedness, and Religiosity Scales as adaptive in their implications for a Muslim psychology of religion. Religious Crisis had maladaptive and Extrinsic Social, Introvertive Mysticism, and Quest Scales had ambiguous implications. These data illustrated how etic forms of understanding can clarify and can be clarified by emic insights.

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