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Dimensions of Religious Commitment, 1986




The Computer Administered Panel Study (CAPS) collected demographic, personality, attitudinal, and other social psychological data from annual samples of University of North Carolina undergraduates from 1983 through 1988. Respondents spent 60 to 90 minutes per week for 20 weeks during the academic year answering questions via computer terminals. In their comparison of demographic and academic variables, researchers found few significant differences between respondents and the general undergraduate population. The Dimensions of Religious Commitment is a questionnaire designed to measure four dimensions of religiosity (Glock and Stark, 1965): Belief, Ritual, Experience, and Knowledge. Originally, Glock and Stark proposed five dimensions, which include "Consequences" as the fifth dimension. However, the authors did not generate measures for this last dimension. Their analysis of the first four dimensions showed that these dimensions are essentially uncorrelated, and that other attitudes and behavior can be predicted from positions on these dimensions. Furthermore, the authors had constructed indices of the four dimensions, mainly by summing points assigned to each item that was answered in a certain direction. Among these indices, the orthodoxy index was found to be the best predictor of all other aspects of religiosity, implying that belief is the most significant component of religiosity. The entire Glock and Stark questionnaire contained more than 500 items. The interested reader may consult the published analysis.

The ARDA has added four additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 86
Variables: 65
Weight Variable: None

Data Collection


Funded By

The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science

Collection Procedures

Each year of the study, a random sample of registered University of North Carolina undergraduates were invited to attend an orientation session about the project. From those who attended and signed up to participate, 96 students (half male and half female) were chosen on the basis of scheduling compatibility. Each week for 20 weeks, respondents spent 60 to 90 minutes during the academic year answering questions via computer terminals. Respondents were paid a base rate of $4 to $5 per completed weekly session and an average of $2 per session more in rewards and bonuses, including a chance at a substantial end-of-year bonus designed to keep subject attrition low. This information about the survey is taken from the Odum Institute's summary of the CAPS program.

Principal Investigators

The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science

Related Publications

Glock, C. and Stark, R., Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism, New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

Additional information comes from: R. Stark and C. Glock, Patterns of Religious Commitment, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968.


When citing this study, the following information should be included:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
(insert study date(s)) Computer Assisted Panel Study (CAPS)
[Computer file]. Chapel Hill: Institute for Research in Social Science [producer]. Module (insert name of specific CAPS module(s) here).


Because the subject's ID is derived from the CAPS year and a sequential number, respondents can be tracked for an entire year's worth of experiments. Datasets can also be merged using the respondent's ID. The original SID, as we received it from the primary investigator, had an underscore between the year and the ID number. The underscore was deleted to make the variable numeric, but the SID was not changed in any other way.

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