Get access

I don't believe but I pray: spirituality, instrumentality, or paranormal belief?


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Yung-Jong Shiah, Graduate Institute of Counseling Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling of National Kaohsiung Normal University, No. 116, Heping 1st Rd., Lingya District, Kaohsiung City 80201, Taiwan. E-mail:


These three studies are among the first to systematically compare five Chinese religious groups on intrinsic (spiritual) and extrinsic (instrumental and paranormal) orientation. In Study 1, a Chinese version of the Index of Core Spiritual Experiences was developed. In Studies 2 and 3, spirituality and religious involvement was found to be greatest among Christians, followed in order by Buddhists, Taoists, traditional nones, and other nones. An instrumental purpose for religious activities and paranormal belief was found to be highest among Taoists, followed in order by Buddhists, traditional nones, other nones, and Christians. The results are consistent with the conclusion that Christianity offers the least support for an extrinsic religious orientation and the most support for an intrinsic religious orientation.