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Psychological Strength and the Report of Intense Religious Experience

Ralph W. Hood, Jr.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 13, No. 1 (Mar., 1974), pp. 65-71
DOI: 10.2307/1384801
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1384801
Page Count: 7
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Psychological Strength and the Report of Intense Religious Experience
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Abstract

A measure of intense religious experience was related to measures of psychological strength in two studies. In the first study a significant negative correlation was found between intense religious experience and Barron's (1953) measure of ego-strength. However, this correlation was reduced to insignificance when the religion subscale was removed from Barron's total Ego-Strength Scale. In the second study intense religious experience was more frequent among persons classified as low on Stark's (1971) Index of Psychic Inadequacy than among persons classified as high. The importance of assessing the relationship between intense religious experiences and psychological health by independently operationalized measures is stressed. Also, the possibility of nonpathological evaluations of intense religious experiences commonly labeled "mystical," "peak," or "ecstatic" is discussed.

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