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The relationship between religious orientation, personality, and purpose in life among an older Methodist sample

By Leslie J. Francis, Albert Jewell and Mandy Robbins


The construct of purpose in life is a key notion discussed both by psychologists and by theologians. There are good theoretical reasons for linking the two constructs and arguing that religiosity could enhance the sense of purpose in life. The empirical evidence for the relationship is, however, not unambiguous. A major difficulty with earlier research concerns the problematic nature of defining both purpose in life and religiosity. The present study attempts to clarify the problem by employing new recently developed measures of both constructs. The Purpose in Life Scale (PILS) developed by Robbins and Francis (2000) provides a clear and unambiguous measure. The New Indices of Religious Orientation (NIRO) developed by Francis (2007) re-operationalise the three constructs of intrinsic, extrinsic and quest religiosity as three different ways of being religious. Both instruments were completed together with the Short-form Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised (EPQR-S) by 407 older Methodists in England. The data demonstrate that, after controlling for individual differences in personality, intrinsic religiosity is associated with a better sense of purpose in life, and both quest religiosity and extrinsic religiosity are unrelated to a sense of purpose in life

Topics: BF, BR
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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