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Why People Turn to Religion: A Motivational Analysis

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The Reiss Profile of Fundamental Goals and Motivational Sensitivities, a standardized psychological measure that assesses 15 fundamental desires, was administered to college students (n= 214) and to mental retardation service providers (n = 344), total N = 558, who rated themselves as “very,”“somewhat,” and “not” religious. How religious a person rated himself, call dereligiosity, was associated with high desire scores for honor and family, and with low desire scores for vengeanceand independence. The investigation provided evidence that the desire for dependence on God is unrelated to any desire for psychological weakness (submission to another person or political leader.)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Nisonger Center, Ohio State Univ rsity

Publication date: 2000-03-01

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