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Personality Dimensions and Versions of “Spirituality”

  • Heinz StreibEmail author
  • Constantin Klein
  • Ralph W. HoodJr.
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter presents results about personality and self-identified “spirituality” from the Bielefeld-based Cross-cultural Study of “Spirituality.” The data yield insights in commonalities and differences not only between the USA and Germany, but between emerging new forms of religion and between different versions of “spirituality,” such as the “spirituality” opposed to religion, or the “spirituality” of self-identified “atheist s” and “non-theists.” How are such different versions of “spirituality” reflected in the personality of our respondents? This is the question this chapter deals with on the basis of the results with the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Results indicate that, compared to the normative values for the USA and Germany, the “more spiritual than religious,” but also the “neither religious nor spiritual” respondents in both countries score considerably higher on openness to experience . Further, there is little evidence in our data that self-identified “spirituality” could be explained by openness to experience or other personality factors. Finally, as Analyses of Variance of the Big Five personality dimensions in the “spiritual”/“religious”/“atheist ” self-identifying groups (our focus groups ) demonstrate, openness to experience is especially suitable for mapping the varieties of “spirituality” in our data.

Keywords

Spirituality Openness Personality Big five NEO-FFI 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Streib
    • 1
    Email author
  • Constantin Klein
    • 1
  • Ralph W. HoodJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BielefeldBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.University of TennesseeChattanoogaUSA

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