Large, representative, cross-cultural and multi-wave data sets (e.g., General Social Survey, World Values Survey, International Social Studies Projects, herein referred to as “Publicly Available Data Sets) have been studied extensively by sociologists, providing a myriad of opportunities to understand the correlates and patterns of changes over time in religiosity in individuals and societies. However, this type of data appears to be underutilized by psychologists. Part of the reason might be the extremely limited measures of psychological dimensions of religiosity (e.g., specific beliefs, values, practices). We propose to document the need for a more systematic and comprehensive approach to measuring religiosity-related psychological constructs in Publicly Available Data Sets. In addition, we propose to initiate a process for building consensus for prioritizing religion variables for inclusion in such data sets and, finally, to examine the feasibility, logistics, and costs of doing so. This planning project will culminate in a report to JTF suggesting how religious constructs of interest to psychologists may be better assessed across countries, over time, and in nationally representative data sets. Ultimately, we expect this work to foster trans-disciplinary communication between sociologists and psychologists. Further, we expect that our findings will lead to a grant proposal to accomplish the inclusion, expansion, or revision of religion variables in cross cultural and multi-wave data collection efforts.
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