Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

John F. Stevenson

Abstract

The main focus of the study was the construction of a new scale for measuring religiosity among Muslims. Two other existing scales were also used. Utilizing 169 (108 male, 61 female) Saudi Arabian Muslim college students, an exploratory Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was employed on a set of questionnaire items intended to measure Islamic religiosity. Six components were extracted, which represented the religious dimensions of practice, societal value of religion, belief in central tenets, personal need for religion, reliance on practical guidance, and unquestioning acceptance.

Predictions regarding multidimensionality of Muslim religiosity were generally supported. However, the PCA-based scales developed in this study will need further work to establish their psychometric robustness, particularly because some scales were difficult to label and did not conform to prior expectations.

Predictions regarding differences in levels of religiosity were also generally supported. As predicted, students of Islamic studies were more religious than students of Arts and Humanities, and females were on average more religious than males.

Special challenges in measuring the Islamic religiosity are discussed, including: measuring the belief dimension, offending participants, and gender of participants.

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