Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Personality.


Martini, Tanya,




Previous research on the connections between religiosity and optimism has identified several relationships between these two constructs (e.g., Sethi & Seligman, 1993; Schutte & Hosch, 1996). However, all research in this area has contained three main flaws: the researchers have imposed their own definitions on the construct of religiosity; each of these studies employed limited measures of religiosity, and have excluded the construct of spirituality; and each study used only one measure of optimism. The present study sought to clarify the relationships between religiosity, spirituality, and both attributional (Peterson et al., 1982) and dispositional optimism (Scheier & Carver, 1985). A sample of 1014 undergraduate students completed measures about their definitions of religiosity and spirituality. One hundred and fifteen of these students then completed measures of their degree of religiosity and spirituality, beliefs about God, and religious fundamentalism, as well as the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ; Peterson et al.) and Life Orientation Test (LOT; Scheier & Carver) as measures of optimism. Results suggest that dispositional optimism is a better correlate of religiosity and spirituality than is attributional optimism. In addition, participants viewed themselves as more spiritual than religious, but did not consider these constructs mutually exclusive. The main component of religiosity and spirituality definitions was a desire for a positive inner state, while organized religious beliefs and practices emerged as the second component. The results of the present study highlight the need for researchers in this area to (a) avoid imposing artificial definitions on the constructs of religiosity and spirituality; (b) use multiple measures of these constructs; and (c) use multiple measures of optimism.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2001 .H35. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 40-03, page: 0788. Adviser: Tanya Martini. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.