The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Michael Argyle

By Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Michael Argyle

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The question of construct validity can be answered only through using other religiosity measures, as well as other, non-religious behaviours. Construct validity is indicated by the variance in responses, and by differences in religiosity which follow theoretical predictions. Such predictions, found in Chapter 2, lead us to expect differences in religiosity indices based on a variety of factors, and such differences are indeed reported in the chapters below. 40 Research methods The most commonly used method in the research literature, not only in the empirical psychology of religion but also in sociology and political science, is that of questionnaire surveys.

So religiosity may be simply a form of social conformity. To some extent we assume this explanation when we talk of the different religious traditions of different countries, since it is taken for granted that these are relatively unchanging and will persist in time. Theoretically and logically, socialization is preceded by basic psychological styles, described above among the theories of origin, but then learning is crucial. If social learning is indeed the more important variable in creating religiosity, then social variables, rather than personality variables, should be more successful in predicting it.

In Flugel's formulation a more radical type of projection is postulated, in which the super-ego is projected on to the universe as a god, and the instinctive desires similarly as the devil (Flugel, 1945; Fenichel, 1945). Alternatively, instinctive desires can be projected on out-groups such as Jews or Africans who are then thought to be highly sexed and aggressive. The gains for the individual are that the conflict is reduced through being no longer an inner one, while the person feels that he or she can deal with the situation by overt action, instead of by changing him/herself (cf.

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