Spirituality and religiousness scales: Their relationship to locus of control

Cassandra Ardoin Cheshire, Tennessee State University


This research study was conducted to utilize the Inventory on Spirituality (IS) and the Inventory on Religiousness (IR) in an effort to support recent calls by psychology to operationalize the concepts of spirituality and religiousness as distinct traditions with their own elements and definitions. Rotter's Locus of Control Scale (1966), a generalized measure of internal vs. external locus of control, was utilized with the IS and IR to examine if there was a correlation between locus of control and spirituality and religiousness. Data were collected from a Nashville, Tennessee law firm, teachers from a private school, and Yoga exercisers. The results did support the first hypothesis in that locus of control was significant in predicting spirituality with this sample. Gender was the only variable (of the three: age, education, and gender) that was significantly predictive of spirituality, indicating that women who had an internal locus of control reported to be more spiritual—more so than did men. The study did not support the second hypothesis in that participants who scored high on religiousness did not report a positive relationship with external locus of control. Again, gender was the only significant variable indicating that women tended to self-describe as more religious than did men. Since age did not prove to be related to locus of control, it was suspected that the reason was because the mean age of the sample was too young.

Subject Area

Personality|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Cassandra Ardoin Cheshire, "Spirituality and religiousness scales: Their relationship to locus of control" (2003). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3097240.