Publication Date

Summer 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Gregory Feist


Creativity, Religion, Religiosity

Subject Areas

Psychology; Religion


Religiosity and religion are often said to be negative influences on one's creativity level. Creativity and religiosity have been looked at as a single dimension, which is a simplistic view. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between creativity and religiosity using scales that measure each construct multidimensionally. Religiosity was measured by one's level of inclusion of transcendent reality and symbolic interpretation of religious content. Creativity was evaluated in terms of fluency, originality, elaboration, abstractness, and resistance to premature closure. It was predicted that participants who exhibit high inclusion of transcendence and literal interpretation of religious content would be correlated with lower creativity. Creativity levels of Buddhists and Christians were also compared. It was predicted that Buddhists would have higher creativity levels than Christians based on Buddhists teachings involving impermanence and mindfulness. Participants completed three drawing tasks and surveys pertaining to their personality. Christian participants completed an additional religiosity scale. The dimensions of religiosity were related to some of the different dimensions of creativity. However, no difference in creativity scores was found between Buddhists and Christians. The results indicated that the religion with which one identifies may not be as important as one's commitment to religion when creativity levels are examined.