Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version


(1937-) Professor of Psychology and Director of Research at the Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary. He is past President of Division 36 of the American Psychological Association and a recipient of its William James award for outstanding and sustained contribution to the psychology of religion. He also edited (1975-1978) the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion .

Gorsuch is widely recognized as an expert in psychometrics. He continues to publish productive research in the areas of personality and social psychology, methodology, and substance abuse as well as the psychology of religion. He advocates that rigorous scientific methods be employed in the psychological study of religion. He also emphasizes that psychology of religion is a part of mainstream psychology using identical methods and assessment procedures. His major research contributions in the psychology of religion include analyses of prejudice, intrinsic/extrinsic religion, and the relationship between change in religiousness and a decrease in substance abuse. He is widely recognized for his authoritative reviews of research in the psychology of religion. His major theoretical contribution is in the ongoing development of a nonreductionistic model for the psychology of religion based upon beliefs, attitudes, and values (the BAV model). In this model, each component is independently measured and their contributions to differentially predicting behaviors determined by multivariate methods.

Ralph W. Hood, Jr .


R. L. Gorsuch, Factor Analysis , 2nd ed. (Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1983)

R. L. Gorsuch, "Measurement," American Psychologist 39(1984):228-236

R. L. Gorsuch, "The Psychology of Religion," Annual Review of Psychology 39(1988):201-221

R. L. Gorsuch, "Religion and Prejudice," International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 3(1993): 20-31

R. L. Gorsuch and M. Butler, "Initial Drug Abuse," Psychological Bulletin 83(1976):120-137.

return to Encyclopedia Table of Contents

Hartford Institute for Religion Research   hirr@hartsem.edu
Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105  860-509-9500