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Manifest Anxiety as a Contributing Factor in Religious Conversion

Baskett, Glen D.; Byrne, Donn; Spellmann, Charles M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Anxiety, Conversion Experience, Protestants, Psychological Studies, Religion, Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale


This study investigated the relationship between manifest anxiety and religious conversion. Three groups of residents (N = 20 each) in a predominantly Protestant town were identified by the community's two ministers: those having had a sudden religious conversion experience, those having had a more gradual religious development, and those who were not religious at all. The Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale was administered to the members of each group. The gradual religious development group and the nonreligious group did not differ significantly from each other (t < 1.0) on manifest anxiety, but the religious conversion group obtained significantly higher scores on the MAS than the other two groups combined (t = 3.72, 57 df, p < .01).

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