The Multidimensional Structure of the Quest Construct

Volume 39
Summer 2011
The Multidimensional Structure of the Quest Construct

The study of religious motivation has been an important area of research in the psychology of religion since Allport and Ross (1967) developed their measure of intrinsic/extrinsic religion. Batson (1976)expanded the model of religious motivation by proposing the quest construct and its measurement with the Interactional Scale. Two additional measures of quest were developed by Altemeyer and Hunsberger (1992) and Dudley and Cruise (1990). Questions have been raised about the reliability and validity of the quest construct and its measures. The present study investigates the dimensionality and convergence of three measures of quest using a sample of 1200 undergraduates from nine Christian liberal arts colleges. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified five quest dimensions. The correlations of the five quest dimensions with several measures of religious functioning and religious fundamentalism were examined. Differences across four college classes on the quest dimensions were also tested. The three quest measures converged on two dimensions labeled Belief Change Expected and Doubts Value. These dimensions were uncorrelated with measures of God awareness and religious well-being and negatively correlated with religious fundamentalism. The three other dimensions identified were unique to one of the measures. The dimension regarding existential questions was not well sampled by our pool of items. The dimensions Reason versus Faith and Religion as Quest were correlated negatively with God awareness and religious well-being as well as religious fundamentalism. The quest dimensions of change and doubt are core facets of Batson's original formulation and our results validate these two dimensions of his model. Measurement of the questions dimension requires further development. The validity and utility of the other two dimensions as aspects of quest will require further investigation.

Dr. K.J. Edwards, Dr. T.W. Hall, Dr. W. Slater and J. Hill
87 - 110
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