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Full Access Spirituality with and without Religion—Differential Relationships with Personality

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Spirituality with and without Religion—Differential Relationships with Personality

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Summary This study contributes to the exploration of self-rated spirituality by anchoring self-ratings of spirituality and religiosity in an integrative model of personality. For the measurement of personality dispositions and characteristic adaptations, the NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R, German version) and the Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life Questionnaire (SoMe) have been administered to a sample (N = 135) of German-speaking students. A three-step study design is employed. First, previous findings on associations between personality and religiosity/spirituality are replicated and supplemented. Second, sources of meaning are shown to explain a considerably higher amount of unique variance in religiosity and spirituality than do personality dispositions. Third, two types of spirituality—religious-and-spiritual and spiritual-but-not-religious—are identified and distinguished on the basis of personality traits. The spiritual-but-not-religious type shows significantly higher degrees of Neuroticism, and lower degrees of Agreeableness. Possible interpretations and lines of future research on ‘spirituality without religion’ are sketched out.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychology, Innsbruck University 52 Innrain, Innsbruck 6020 Austria tatjana.schnell@uibk.ac.at

10.1163/157361212X644495
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Summary This study contributes to the exploration of self-rated spirituality by anchoring self-ratings of spirituality and religiosity in an integrative model of personality. For the measurement of personality dispositions and characteristic adaptations, the NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R, German version) and the Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life Questionnaire (SoMe) have been administered to a sample (N = 135) of German-speaking students. A three-step study design is employed. First, previous findings on associations between personality and religiosity/spirituality are replicated and supplemented. Second, sources of meaning are shown to explain a considerably higher amount of unique variance in religiosity and spirituality than do personality dispositions. Third, two types of spirituality—religious-and-spiritual and spiritual-but-not-religious—are identified and distinguished on the basis of personality traits. The spiritual-but-not-religious type shows significantly higher degrees of Neuroticism, and lower degrees of Agreeableness. Possible interpretations and lines of future research on ‘spirituality without religion’ are sketched out.

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2012-01-01
2016-12-10

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