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Religious Fundamentalism: An Empirically Derived Construct and Measurement Scale

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Summary Items were generated to explore the factorial structure of a construct of fundamentalism worded appropriately for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Results suggested three underlying dimensions: (a) External versus Internal Authority, (b) Fixed versus Malleable Religion, and (c) Worldly Rejection versus Worldly Affirmation. The three dimensions indicate that religious fundamentalism is a personal orientation that asserts a supra-human locus of moral authority, context unbound truth, and the appreciation of the sacred over the worldly components of experience. The 15-item, 3-dimension solution was evaluated across Mexican (n = 455) and American (n = 449) samples. Fit indexes point out the viability of the new inventory across these two samples henceforward referred to as the Multi-Dimensional Fundamentalism Inventory (MDFI). Additional validity tests supported that the new inventory was negatively correlated with participants’ integrative complexity in a religious domain–specific way.


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