Jim Alsdurf

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sam McFarland, Leory Metze, Dorsey Grise

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The relations between faculty religiosity, changes in reliaious beliefs, and commitment to scholarly openness were examined through a survey of 257 faculty at three universities. A new measure of scholarly openness was developed for this study because of ambiguities in previous indirect and attitudinal measures. Patterns of faculty religiosity as a function of education, graduate school prestige, academic discipline, and educational period of religious change are generally compatible with previous studies, but patterns for scholarly openness are not. Faculty religiosity and scholarly openness were negatively correlated for those Faculty who had never experienced sinnificant reliaious change and for those who had changed from one religon to another, congruent with the hypothesis that religious faith and scholarly openness are incompatible, but the correlations were not strong. However, the two dimensions were uncorrelated for faculty who had changed in either more religious or less religious directions. Six factors contributing to religious change were identified by principle components analysis from responses to 31 reasons for change presented in Likert format and from scores assigned to faculty self-descriptions. Correlations between factor scores and scholarly openness suggest that the process of personal interaction concerning religious beliefs may be particularly significant in nullifying the antithetical relationship between religious faith and scholarly openness.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social and Behavioral Sciences