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Individual Differences in Religion and Spirituality: An Issue of Personality Traits and/or Values

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Personality, in terms of both strict personality traits (five factors) and their cultural adaptations (e.g., values), has systematically been found to predict religion. This article focuses on three issues that still remain unclear: predictiveness of personality facets versus the five factors; predictiveness of values versus personality; and similarities and differences between religiosity and spirituality in their associations with personality and values. We administered the NEO-PI-R, the Schwartz Value Survey, and religious measures to Spanish students (N = 256). The personality facets provided additional and subtler information than the five factors on individual differences in religion and spirituality. When the overlap between personality and values was controlled for, values were almost unique predictors of these differences. Spirituality shared with religion both a prosocial tendency (with even some intensification) and conscientiousness, but not the emphasis on conservation versus openness to change and to experience.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-03-01

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