Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Michael Nielsen


The purpose of this study was to experimentally analyze the benefits of religious fundamentalism. We hypothesized that there would be a significant difference between conditions for our dependent variables: hope, spiritual well-being, spiritual anxiety, and self-concept. We tested our hypotheses using a sample of undergraduate psychology students (N = 83) who each completed a religious fundamentalism measure and then several measures of relevant dependent variables. We found that those in the experimental condition had lower average scores of religious doubt than those in the control condition and higher average scores of spiritual well-being. Our results were partially consistent with existing theory about the potential benefits of religious fundamentalism, though further study is required to refine our understanding of these benefits given that this is an under-researched area of the psychology of religion.

Included in

Psychology Commons