Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Kelly Madole (Director), Dr. Jacqueline Pope-Tarrence,Dr. Carrie Pritchard

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


In this study, the relationship between essentialism, religious beliefs, and views of change was investigated. Participants were given surveys containing three sets of items and a demographic questionnaire. Item sets included the Intrinsic/Extrinsic-Revised Scale of Religiosity, the Essentialist Belief Scales, and the Change Vignettes. Results indicated those with gradualist religious views were not more likely to endorse essentialist views when compared to those with conversionist views. Those who essentialized at high levels were not less likely to endorse the possibility of change in comparison to those who essentialized at lower levels. Participants with high levels of extrinsic religiosity were not more likely to demonstrate essentialist beliefs as compared to those with low levels of extrinsic religiosity. In addition, individuals did not view change as more plausible as they were determined to be more intrinsically religious. No relationship was found between religious affiliation and views of change or measures of essentialist thought. Those belonging to Fundamentalists and Liberalist denominational groups were found to be similar in regard to beliefs about change, and essentialism, as well as intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity. Those classified as Others were significantly different from Fundamentalist and Liberalists, excluding ratings of the importance of good deeds.


Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social Psychology