An investigation of the link between spirituality and intelligence
Self-rated religiosity has been studied alongside intelligence for nearly 100 years. The predominant finding is a negative relationship between measures of self-rated religiosity and individual measures of intelligence. That is, as intelligence increases, the degree of self-rated religiosity decreases; as intelligence scores decrease, self-rated religiosity tends to increase. Spirituality has been studied intermittently as a separate theoretical construct since the 1970’s and there has been a recent empirical drive to consider and refer to these concepts separately. Valid and reliable measures of intelligence have not yet been examined alongside empirically validated, individual, self-rated measures of spirituality. In this study, 44 undergraduate students from the University of Saskatchewan completed the Shipley-2 abbreviated test of intelligence and the Spiritual Well Being Questionnaire (SWBQ). Due to the nature of religiosity relative to spirituality, as well as individual differences in characteristic propensities to engage in logical reasoning, it was hypothesized that when compared to past research examining measured intelligence relative to self-endorsed measures of religiosity, a relatively weak relationship would be observed. The nature and strength of the relationship between self-rated measures of spirituality and measured intelligence was nearly identical to a recent meta-analysis study examining the relationship between self-rated religiosity and measured intelligence. However, a relatively strong negative relationship was observed between the transcendent factor of the SWBQ – the factor most closely associated with notions of a God, religion, or religiosity – and intelligence. This finding supports the hypothesis and suggests that perhaps it is the notion of a God or other sentient being that is driving or inflating the widely observed negative relationship between self-rated religiosity and intelligence.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
CommitteeMorrison, Dirk; Kalyn, Brenda
Copyright DateJune 2015
spirituality, intelligence, religiosity, analytic, intuitive, reasoning, importance, orthodox, spiritual, religious, abstract, belief, counterintuitive