Gideon Aran: Research on Religious Variation

The psychology of religion has been dominated by issues of measurement. Not only have psychologists of religion long recognized the importance of good measurement and have placed a high pioity on it.

Written By Prof. Gideon Aran

But in the 1980s a leading specialist in the field pronounced measurement to be the current hegemonic paradigm, that is, the foremost perspective or concern of psychologists of religion (Gorsuch 1984).

In the 1990s a widely-read textbook in the psychology of religion identified 125 measurement scales available to psychologists of religion(Heel and Hood 2009). Many more have been developed ever since and the rich professional literature claims that on the whole measurement scales are reasonably reliable and valid (Hood et al. 2009).

The above is in contrast to the state of the art in the sociology and anthropology of religion. The issue of religious measurability in disciplines still inspired by Weber and Durkheim is in need of further empirical research and conceptual refinement.


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