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An Investigation of the Relationship between the Need for Cognitive Closure and Religious Fundamentalism

Authors: Hadi G. Altabatabaei, Nguyen L. L. Anh


There are positive significant relationships between the Need for Cognitive Closure (NFC) and Religious Fundamentalism (RF) among students. The preliminary assumption of the current study was: There would be a stronger pattern of association between these constructs, if the participants of the study are more exposed to the study's main concept which is religiosity. In other words, close-mindedness would be more related to homogeneous samples of practicing devotees of monotheistic religions compared to student samples. The main hypothesis was that concerning the Muslim sample, there will be a significant and positive correlation between the need for closure (and all facets of it, except decisiveness) and RF. Both the student sample (n=88), and the Muslim practicing mosque attending sample (n=40), were administrated three scales of Need for Closure (NFCS), Religious Fundamentalism (RFS), and Four Basic Dimensions of Religiousness (FBDRS). The results of the study moderately confirmed the hypothesis and showed a positive correlation between NFCS and RFS with the Muslim sample. Specifically, preference for order, preference for predictability and discomfort with ambiguity facets of the NFCS positively correlated with RFS. However, with regards to the student sample such relationships between the constructs were not found.

Keywords: Religiosity, close-mindedness, religious fundamentalism, need for closure, monotheistic religions.

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