Psychological Correlates of "Spirituality"

Psychological characteristics for „spirituality,“ which have emerged as most eminent in the data of the Bielefeld-based Cross-cultural Study on “Spirituality,” are the following:

  1. Mysticism predicts self-rated “spirituality.” The Mysticism Scale (Hood, 1975) is an effective measure to assess self-rated “spirituality.” (see Chapter 11 in Streib & Hood, 2016 for more details)

  2. Openness to experience, one of the Big Five personality dimensions, is for “more spiritual than religious” individuals significantly higher than the norm values for the USA. Nevertheless, “neither religious nor spiritual” persons are still higher in openness to experience. (see Chapter 12 in Streib & Hood, 2016 for more details)

  3. The religious schemata clearly relate to “spirituality:” truth of texts and teachings (ttt) is high for “religious” persons (FG1; FG2), xenosophia/inter-religious dialog (xenos) is high for “spiritual” persons (FG3), except atheists and non-theists (FG4; FG6). (see Chapter 13 in Streib & Hood, 2016 for more details)

  4. “Spirituality” and mysticism are associated with psychological well-being, generativity and emotional stability. (see Chapter 25 in Streib & Hood, 2016 for more details)

Publications / Articles


Streib, H. & Hood, R. W. (Eds.) (2016). Semantics and Psychology of "Spirituality". A Cross-cultural Analysis. Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Streib, H. & Keller, B. (2015). Was bedeutet Spiritualität? Befunde, Analysen und Fallstudien aus Deutschland. Research in Contemporary Religion (RCR) - Band 20, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Keller, B. & Streib, H. (2013) Faith Development, Religious Styles and Biographical Narratives: Methodological Perspectives. Journal of Empirical Theology 26, 1-21.

Keller, Barbara, Klein, Constantin, Anne, Swhajor, Christopher F., Silver, Ralph W., Hood, and Streib, Heinz. "The Semantics of 'Spirituality' and Related Self-identifications: A Comparative Study in Germany and the USA". Archive for the Psychology of Religion. (PDF)

Streib, Heinz & Hood, Ralph W. (2011). “"Spirituality" as Privatized Experience-Oriented Religion: Empirical and Conceptual Perspectives”. Implicit Religion 14.4: 433 - 453. (PDF)

Streib, H. (2008). More Spiritual than Religious: Changes in the Religious Field Require New Approaches (PDF)