Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Sandra L. Dixon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Carrie Doehring

Third Advisor

Daniel N. McIntosh


Prejudice, Reflective judgment, Religious orientation


Research in the psychology of religion over the past five decades has found that religious individuals tend to be more prejudiced than those who are not religious. In addition, research has identified various orientations to religion, each having a unique relationship to prejudice. The purpose of this study was to explore whether cognitive complexity, as defined by the Reflective Judgment Model (RJM), might emerge as a predictor both of religious orientation and of prejudice, thereby explaining the variability in the relationships between religious orientation and prejudice. While a relationship between cognitive complexity, religious orientation, and prejudice has been theorized (Hunsberger & Jackson, 2005), it had yet to be tested empirically using a standardized measure of cognitive complexity such as the RJM. The sample used for this study was collected from four different undergraduate and graduate-level institutions, each representing a unique approach to religion. Overall, the results of this study were inconclusive with regard to the role of cognitive complexity in the relationship between religious orientation and prejudice. However, findings did support previous research in terms of the relationships between religious fundamentalism, Christian Orthodoxy, Quest and prejudice. Finally, school was found to be a significant predictor of both religious orientation and prejudice, suggesting that future research on the impact of educational environment on various forms of religious orientation is warranted.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Alison Cook


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

200 p.


Social psychology, Regional studies