Paul Fehrmann

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sam McFarland, Dorsey Grise, Larry Hanser

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science


As a replication and expansion of work done by Alsdurf (1977), the relations between religiosity, commitment to scholarly openness and reasons for religious change were examined through a survey of 146 students attending a South-central university. A discussion of logical and empirical studies was presented to help clarify the theses under examination, and it was maintained that this study was primarily concerned with empirical relationships. A negative correlation was obtained between scholarly openness and religiosity for the total population studied, but the correlation was weak. In contrast to expectations, a significant negative correlation between scholarly openness and religiosity was not obtained for those who reported never experiencing a significant religious change. Conflicting with Alsdurf’s (1977) findings, a sinfulness factor mediating religious change was positively rather than negatively correlated with scholarly openness, and a factor assessing significant interaction with others was unrelated rather than positively correlated with scholarly openness. It was concluded that knowing factors reported as mediating religious conversion does not provide a basis for predicting scholarly openness, but that empirically, scholarly openness and religiosity are not necessarily incompatible.


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