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08.09.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 1/2017

Journal of Religion and Health 1/2017

A Paradigm to Assess Implicit Attitudes towards God: The Positive/Negative God Associations Task

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Steven Pirutinsky, Sean Carp, David H. Rosmarin
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10943-016-0303-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Psychological research on the relationship between spirituality/religion and mental health has grown considerably over the past several decades and now constitutes a sizable body of scholarship. Among dimensions of S/R, positive beliefs about God have been significantly related to better mental health outcomes, and conversely negative beliefs about God are generally associated with more distress. However, prior research on this topic has relied heavily upon self-report Likert-type scales, which are vulnerable to self-report biases and measure only explicit cognitive processes. In this study, we developed and validated an implicit social cognition task, the Positive/Negative God Go/No-go Association Task (PNG-GNAT), for use in psychological research on spirituality and religion (S/R). Preliminary evidence in a large sample (N = 381) suggests that the PNG-GNAT demonstrates internal consistency, test–retest and split-half reliability, and concurrent evidence of validity. Further, our results suggest that PNG-GNAT scores represent different underlying dimensions of S/R than explicit self-report measures, and incrementally predict mental health above and beyond self-report assessment. The PNG-GNAT appears to be an effective tool for measuring implicit positive/negative beliefs about God.

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