Spirituality: Description, Measurement, and Relation to the Five Factor Model of Personality

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Abstract

The present article focused on the development and measurement of a factor model of the expressions of spirituality. Study 1 (N = 534) involved the use of factor analysis to examine the latent factor structure in a sample of 11 measures of spiritual constructs. Study 2 (N = 938) focused on the replication of Study 1 results and on the construction and initial validation of an instrument to operationalize the factor model of spirituality. Results indicate that at least 5 robust dimensions of spirituality underlie the spirituality test domain. These dimensions were labeled Cognitive Orientation Towards Spirituality (COS), Experiential/Phenomenological Dimension (EPD), Existential Well-Being (EWB), Paranormal Beliefs (PAR), and Religiousness (REL). The measure developed, named the Expressions of Spirituality Inventory (ESI), takes the form of a 98-item instrument that generated scores demonstrating satisfactory reliability and adequate initial validity. Examination of the relation of spirituality to the Five Factor Model (FFM) as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised revealed that the dimensions of the FFM appear to differentially relate to the major elements of spirituality but are nevertheless conceptually unique, pointing to the possible existence of major aspects of personality not represented in the FFM.

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