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Title: Existential orientation : atheism, theism and individual differences
Author: Rosenkranz, Patrick Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 2778
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2009
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Existential orientation denotes to what degree an individual believes in a theistic or atheistic worldview. As a construct it is akin to religiosity but extends the measurement of religion to include secular and naturalistic beliefs. This study has developed a measurement scale that conceptualises existential orientation. The scale, termed the Existential Orientation Scale (EOS), consists of 20 statements representing theistic and atheistic beliefs. The EOS was validated on a sample of internet users (N=227) and has shown promising validity and reability measures. As a scale, it can make distinctions between atheists, agnostics, mild and strong religious believers. In a large follow up study (N=854), individual differences between different degrees of existential orientation were investigated. Evolutionary considerations suggest that religious beliefs are associated with evolved social intelligence. Moreover, previous research has shown that women tend to be more religious than men across cultures. As women on average score higher on some aspects of social intelligence, an underlying causal explanation for these sex differences can be hypothesised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available