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Dimensions of the Mysticism Scale: Confirming the Three-Factor Structure in the United States and Iran

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Abstract:

In a mostly Christian American sample (N = 1,379), confirmatory factor analysis of Hood’s (1975) Mysticism Scale verified the existence of Stace’s (1960) introvertive and extrovertive dimensions of mystical phenomenology along with a separate interpretation factor. A second study confirmed the presence of these three factors in not only another group of Americans (N = 188), but also in a sample of Iranian Muslims (N = 185). Relationships of the introvertive and extrovertive factors with the interpretation factor were essentially identical across these two cultures, but the Americans displayed a stronger association between the two phenomenology factors. In both samples, the interpretation factor correlated positively with an intrinsic and negatively with an extrinsic religious orientation, and the introvertive factor predicted psychological dysfunction. Associations of the interpretation factor with relative mental health appeared only in the Iranians. These data offered general support for Stace’s phenomenology of mysticism, although the ineffability he linked with interpretation proved to be as much or even more a feature of the introvertive experience, as hypothesized by Hood.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/0021-8294.00085

Affiliations: 1: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN., 2: Center of Psychological Services for Managers, Tehran, Iran , 3: University of Tehran, Iran, 4: Sterling College, KS.

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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