Personality, Spirituality, and Religion

Eric D. Rose and Julie J. Exline

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729920
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Personality, Spirituality, and Religion

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The current review explores advances made over the last 10 years (1999–2009) in research linking personality with spirituality and religion. Contributions from the fields of behavior genetics, attachment, the trait approach, and the study of values are analyzed to address four major topics. First, the roots of religious and spiritual life as well as pathways that lead both toward and away from spirituality and religiousness are described. Second, recent contributions to the controversial discussion of religious and spiritual prosociality are presented. Third, evidence for a connection between religiousness and spirituality with self-control and morality is explored. And finally, recent advances in the study of prejudicial attitudes and behavior on the part of religious and spiritual individuals are reviewed. The chapter concludes with a brief critique of the current state of empirical research linking personality with spirituality and religion, along with ideas for enhancing future research.

Keywords: personality; religion; spirituality; traits; values; behavior genetics; attachment; prosociality; self-control; prejudice

Article.  13857 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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