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Inward, Outward, and Upward: Cognitive Aspects of Prayer

Kevin L. Ladd and Bernard Spilka
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 475-484
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1387457
Page Count: 10
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Inward, Outward, and Upward: Cognitive Aspects of Prayer
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Abstract

Recent investigations concerning ways people employ prayer typically suffer from either a fundamentally atheoretical approach or an indiscriminant mixing of affective, behavioral, and cognitive components. The present study examines the theory that a general concept of prayer-as-connection contains prayers of inward (connection with oneself), outward (human-human connection), or upward (human-divine connection) foci. Participants rated words or phrases according to what they "thought about" while praying. Factor analysis revealed eight primary factors: two inward, four outward, and two upward. Three second-order factors emerged (two outward and one upward). However, no general factor appeared.

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