Religious Orientation and Attitudes about Stem Cell Research

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The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion





Human stem cell research has revived long-standing debates regarding the sanctity and beginning of life. The current study addresses the issue by examining the ability of selected religiosity and personality variables to predict attitudes regarding stem cell research. Participants were given questionnaires measuring attitudes regarding stem cell research, along with the Need for Closure scale, the Internal Control Index, the Need for Uniqueness scale, religious orientation scales, and the Literal-Antiliteral-Mythological scale. Results indicate that those who hold more traditional religious beliefs are likely to oppose stem cell research for moral reasons, whereas those who have a more open-ended approach to religion are likely to be in favor of such research. Results also showed that personality variables were helpful in predicting people's confidence in institutions' ability to manage the ethical questions surrounding such research.