PERGAMON Personality and Individual Di}erences

PERGAMON Personality and Individual Di}erences 16 “0888# 44Ð56
9080!7758:88:, ! see front matter Þ 0888 Elsevier Science Ltd[ All rights reserved[
PII] S9080!7758″87#99107!8
The incidence of schizotypy in new religious movements
Samantha Daya
\ Emmanuelle Petersb\
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry\ Institute of Psychiatry\ De Crespigny Park\ London SE4\ UK b
Subdepartment of Clinical Health Psychology\ UCL\ London WC0E\ UK
Received 00 May 0887
Work into schizotypy\ or {{psychosis!proneness|| “Claridge\ 0876#\ has shown that certain individuals have
similar experiences to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia while remaining functioning members of
society[ The Oxford and Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences “O!LIFE^ Mason\ Claridge\ +
Jackson\ 0884#\ which measures four factors of schizotypy symptomatology\ and the Hospital Anxiety and
Depression Scale “HADS^ Zigmond + Snaith\ 0872# were administered to members of New Religious
Movements “NRMs#[ As predicted\ they scored higher on the Unusual Experiences factor\ which measures
positive symptomatology\ and the Schizotypal Personality questionnaire “STA^ Claridge + Broks\ 0873#\
than the two control groups “non!religious and mainstream Christians#[ The NRMs group scored sig!
ni_cantly higher than the non!religious\ but not the religious group\ on the factor of Introvertive Anhedonia\
which measures negative symptomatology\ suggesting that this factor may be related to religion rather than
NRMs per se[ The NRMs did not score signi_cantly di}erently to the two religious controls on the factors
of Cognitive Disorganisation\ Impulsive Nonconformity\ Extraversion and the anxiety measure[ The NRMs
were more depressed than the Christian\ but not the non!religious group\ and their mean score was well
within the normal range[ There were\ however\ several signi_cant correlations between depression\ anxiety\
and the schizotypy measures[ Overall\ these _ndings suggest that positive schizotypal traits\ speci_cally\ are
present in functioning individuals who belong to NRMs\ o}ering further support both for the continuity
view of psychosis\ and for the multidimensionality of psychosis!proneness[ The notion of the {{happy
schizotype||\ however\ was not entirely supported[ Þ 0888 Elsevier Science Ltd[ All rights reserved[
Keywords] New religious movements^ Schizotypy^ Positive symptomatology^ Religion
0[ Introduction
The view that schizophrenia may be conceptualized within a dimensional framework was _rst
explored by Bleuler “0813# in his description of latent schizophrenia\ where {{schizoid peculiarities
Corresponding author[ Fax] ¦33!060!805!0878[
45 S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56
are within normal limits|| “Bleuler\ 0813\ p[ 326#[ However it was Meehl “0851# who created the
label of {schizotypy| for the putative inherited neural de_cit\ which\ he suggested\ could lead to the
development of schizophrenia when this de_cit interacted with environmental in~uences[ Although
Meehl believed that schizotypy still lay in the clinical domain\ Eysenck and Eysenck “0865#
proposed a more dimensional approach\ with schizophrenia being at the extreme end of a per!
sonality trait continuum[ Claridge “0876\ 0883# has since advocated that the study of schizotypy\
or {psychosis!proneness|\ may prove even more valuable to the understanding of the disorder than
studying schizophrenia itself[
Many schizotypal questionnaires have been designed for use in the normal population “e[g[\
Claridge + Broks\ 0873^ Bentall\ Claridge\ + Slade\ 0878# to measure psychosis!proneness[ The
OxfordÐLiverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences “OÐLIFE^ Mason\ Claridge\ + Jackson\
0884# focuses on four aspects of schizotypy\ namely\ Cognitive Disorganization\ Unusual Experi!
ences\ Introvertive Anhedonia and Impulsive Nonconformity[ The _rst three dimensions are
comparable to the three factor model of schizophrenia of Liddle “0876#] a positive factor “Unusual
Experiences#\ a negative factor “Introvertive Anhedonia# and a disorganization factor “Cognitive
Disorganization#[ The fourth factor\ Impulsive Nonconformity\ is based on Eysenck|s Psychoticism
scale “Eysenck + Eysenck\ 0864# and measures the more {antisocial| aspects of schizotypy[ There
is a debate as to whether this is truly a schizotypal factor\ since it is loaded on mostly by Eysenck|s
P scale “Eysenck + Eysenck\ 0864# which is more related to psychopathy than schizotypy[ These
four factors have been con_rmed in a large replication study of the existing published schizotypy
questionnaires “Claridge et al[\ 0885#[ TestÐretest reliability of the OÐLIFE has recently been
established “Burch\ Steel\ + Hemsley\ 0887#[ Individuals who score highly on these schizotypal
measures have been found to resemble schizophrenics on several experimental correlates\ for
instance\ psychophysiological “e[g[ Cadenhead\ Geyer\ + Bra}\ 0882#\ neurological “e[g[ Raine\
Sheard\ Reynolds\ + Lencz\ 0881# and cognitive “e[g[ Peters\ Pickering\ + Hemsley\ 0883#[ The
psychometric identi_cation of {high schizotypes|\ and the fact that these individuals resemble
schizophrenics experimentally\ provide further evidence for the validity of the concept of
Recent work has focused on the type of person who scores highly on these schizotypal measures[
McCreery and Claridge “0884# showed that individuals who have experienced at least one out!of!
body experience obtained higher scores on scales that measured {positive| symptomatology0
namely anomalous perceptual experiences and episodes of hypomanic excitement\ than controls[
However\ they did not su}er from {negative| symptomatology\ such as physical and social
anhedonia[ McCreery and Claridge “0884# refer to such individuals as {happy schizotypes| * a
person who is well adjusted but has similar positive symptomatology to that found\ in an exag!
gerated form\ in schizophrenia[ The {happy schizotype| model suggests\ _rstly\ that {abnormal|
experiences are not exclusively the province of the mentally ill and\ secondly\ that such experiences
are not necessarily associated with distress\ withdrawal or di.culties in adjustment[ Claridge
“0874# has even suggested that\ far from being a malignant personality trait per se\ a moderate
degree of schizotypy may even have adaptive value\ as illustrated by its relationship to creativity[
0The term {symptomatology| is used throughout this text to refer to features within psychosis!proneness which map
onto the symptoms found in the clinical domain\ but which are subclinical in intensity[ The term {symptom| is used to
denote psychotic features of a ~orid nature[
S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56 46
Other groups\ such as adults with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder “Enright\ Claridge\ Beech\ +
Kemp!Wheeler\ 0883#\ those who believe in the paranormal “Thalbourne\ 0883#\ those who have
experiences of extra sensory perception “ESP# and believe in life after death “Thalbourne + French\
0884#\ also score highly on scales that measure positive symptomatology[ In a similar vein\ Jackson
“0886# attempted to distinguish between psychotic and spiritual experiences by comparing the two
groups using a variety of psychometric tools[ He concluded that there was no clear borderline
between the two\ with a common\ schizotypal personality trait underlying both forms on the
spiritualÐpsychotic continuum[ This body of work supports the model of psychotic characteristics
being part of the psychological and biological features that add individual variation to the popu!
lation “Claridge + Beech\ 0883#[ Furthermore\ the seminal studies conducted by Jackson and his
colleagues on intense spiritual experiences “Jackson + Fulford\ 0886^ Jackson\ 0886^ Jackson\ in
press# concur with the notion of McCreery and Claridge “0884# of a {happy schizotype|[ Their
analysis of individuals with so!called {anomalous| religious experiences showed that it was the
positive symptomatology aspects of schizotypy only which were relevant to this group and\
secondly\ demonstrated that such episodes could have adaptive and life!enhancing consequences
for the experient[
One particular group of interest is individuals belonging to religious {cults|1 or new religious
movements “NRMs#[ Considerable research has been carried out on the personality characteristics
and mental health of members of NRMs\ although this work has almost exclusively been carried
out in the United States and Australia “see Richardson\ 0884\ for a review#[ The groups which
have been most studied include the Jesus Movement Group “now disbanded#\ the Rajneeshees and
Hare Krishna devotees2
[ Extensive data on their personal background and attitudes have been
collected “Richardson\ Stewart\ + Simmonds\ 0868^ Latkin\ Hagan\ Littman\ + Sundberg\ 0876#\
as well as comprehensive batteries of personality assessments such as the MyersÐBriggs Inventory
and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory “Ross\ 0872^ Poling + Kenny\ 0875#[ Various
measures of subjective well!being such as perceived stress\ social support and self!esteem have been
reported “Latkin et al[\ 0876#\ as well as several aspects of mental health\ such as depression\
anxiety\ loss of behavioural:emotional control and life satisfaction “Weiss\ 0876^ Weiss + Comprey\
0876#[ The overwhelming conclusions from this extensive body of work are that\ on the whole\
members of NRMs display group scores indistinguishable from those of normative samples\ and
on some measures even show better mental health and adjustment “Richardson\ 0884#[
While these studies provide evidence that members of NRMs are not\ as a group\ pathological\
they did not use measures of relevance to psychosis and schizotypy[ However\ Rust “0881# assessed
schizotypal thinking in members of occult groups using the Rust Inventory of Schizotypal Cog!
nitions “RISC^ Rust\ 0877#[ His results were rather inconclusive\ inasmuch as the nine {sects|
studied showed atypical scores\ but were not consistent in the direction of their atypicality[
However\ a discriminant functions analysis suggested that occult groups could be classi_ed into
two types\ one which was characterized by devotion to a divine authority\ and the other being
1The word {cult|\ as it is used by the media and in popular parlance\ tends to be a pejorative term for religious “or
{pseudoreligious|# groups “Richardson\ 0882#[ The term commonly used by sociologists of religions is {new religious
movement| “or NRM^ Barker\ 0885#\ and will therefore be the term used in this paper[ 2 Hare Krishna Website “http]::www[webcom[com:½balarama:a924[html#[
47 S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56
de_ned by a shared investigation of magical or paranormal phenomena[ Unfortunately it was not
possible to ascertain which groups belonged to which type\ since con_dentiality prevented the
author from naming the {sects| studied[
Another study using NRMs by Peters\ Day\ McKenna and Orbach “in press# found that although
such individuals did not show as much ~orid delusions as psychotic patients\ they could not be
di}erentiated from the deluded group on the number of delusional ideation items endorsed on the
Peters et al[ Delusions Inventory “PDI^ Peters\ Joseph\ + Garety\ in press#\ or on levels of
conviction in those beliefs[ However\ they were signi_cantly less distressed and preoccupied by
their experiences\ suggesting that the content of beliefs\ or {what| you believe\ may be less dis!
criminating in determining pathology than the form of the belief\ or {how| you believe it[ The
present study sought to extend this work by investigating more general schizotypal traits in the
same sample of NRMs studied by Peters and her colleagues[ Based on previous _ndings by Peters
et al[ “in press# and Jackson “0886#\ it was predicted that members of NRMs would score higher
on measures detecting positive symptomatology of schizotypy\ namely the Unusual Experiences
factor from the OÐLIFE “Mason et al[\ 0884#\ than both mainstream religious and nonreligious
controls[ It was also hypothesized that the NRMs would manifest as {happy schizotypes| “McCreery
+ Claridge\ 0884#\ and would not di}er from the control groups on anxiety and depression
1[ Method
1[0[ Design
The study used a between!subjects design with three groups\ a nonreligious control group\ a
religious group comprising Hare Krishnas and Druids3 “the experimental group# and a religious
“Christian# control group[ The dependent variables were the questionnaire measures[
1[1[ Participants and procedure
The sample was essentially the same as that reported by Peters et al[ “in press#\ although there
were additional missing data for the questionnaires used in this study[ Ninety!_ve individuals were
subdivided into three groups] 11 religious group members “nine members of the Hare Krishna
Movement^ 02 Druids#\ 22 Christians\ and 39 nonreligious controls “atheists and agnostics#[ No
signi_cant di}erences between the groups were found in gender distribution “x1
0[8\ d[f[1\
p9[3#\ or in age “F”1\ 81#9[6\ p9[4#[ The demographics of the three groups are displayed in
Table 0[
1[1[0[ Hare Krishnas
The members of the Hare Krishna Movement were volunteers from the temple in Soho Square\
London[ The members studied live communally in the temple\ and are free to worship anytime
3 Druid Website “http]::www[ druid[com:#[
S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56 48
Table 0
Demographics of the three groups
Group Nonreligious Christian NRMs
“n# “39# “22# “11#
Males 11 02 8
Females 07 19 01a
Mean 18[4 18[1 20[7
S[D[ 5[7 8[2 8[9
Range 11Ð 36 19Ð42 12Ð42
One sex classi_cation missing[
during the day[ The Hare Krishna movement was founded in 0854 by His Divine Grace A[C[
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada\ in the USA[ The movement|s philosophy promotes human
well!being and the consciousness of God\ based on the ancient Vedic texts of India[ Its members
wear sa}ron robes and chant the Maha Mantra\ a practice that supposedly transcends the chanter
to spiritual consciousness[ The religion believes that the goal of living humans is to attain a loving
devotional service to the Lord[ This service can be perfected over many births and deaths until
real knowledge is attained\ then one is eligible to go back to the spiritual world “home of the Lord#
which is beyond birth\ death\ old age and disease[ The Krishnas are vegetarian\ do not use
intoxicants\ do not gamble and are celibate apart from procreation within marriage[
The group of Hare Krishnas were approached through letter correspondence at the temple in
Soho square\ London[ One of the authors “SD# met with the secretary and left the questionnaire
packages with her to distribute to the individual members[ These were returned anonymously and
collected from the secretary[ Nine sets of questionnaires were returned out of 19[ However only
one of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale “HADS# questionnaires was _lled in\ but all
nine of the Oxford and Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences “OÐLIFE# questionnaires[
1[1[1[ The Druids
The Druids were volunteers from a section near Reading[ Druidry is one of the major Pagan
orders\ whose ideas are inspired from Celtic traditions of a spirituality rooted in a love of nature[
Druids have meetings\ called Groves\ usually fortnightly[ The beliefs explore sacred mythology\
divination and other esoteric teachings[ The Druids design and perform magical and religious
ceremonies to change themselves and the world[ This includes worshipping Old Gods and
Goddesses\ rites of passage “hand!fasting\ child blessings\ etc[# and observing eight seasonal
festivals during the year] the solstices\ equinoxes and the four _re festivals[
The Druid group was approached through a personal contact[ Questionnaire packages inviting
potential respondents to participate in a study investigating the relationship between beliefs and
psychological well!being in religious groups\ were left with our contact[ The packages were then
collected[ Thirty sets were left\ of which 02 were returned completed[
59 S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56
1[1[2[ The control groups
The two control groups were obtained through a number of sources[ Forty!two participants were
obtained from acquaintances[ They were separated into Christian and nonreligious on the basis of
their answer to the religion question on the demographics form “information required by this form
consisted of age\ sex\ date\ ethnic background\ profession and religion#[ Individuals who responded
by {atheist|\ {agnostic| or {none| were allocated to the nonreligious group[ Respondents who had
classi_ed their religious a.liations as one of the main Christian religions were included in the
Christian group “the a.liations included consisted of Church of England\ Roman Catholic\
Methodist\ Baptist and Quaker#[ Seven individuals were obtained from the Institute of Psychiatry|s
subject pool\ who _lled out the questionnaires as part of a larger research project investigating
cognitive processes in delusions[ They were allocated to the two control groups in the manner
described above[ Twelve more individuals in the Christian group were recruited from City Uni!
versity Christian Union[ The student status of these individuals was matched by collecting data
from a further 01\ nonreligious\ students who lived in a City University hall of residence “their
nonreligious status was again ascertained by answers of {atheist|\ {agnostic| or {none| to the religion
1[2[ Materials
Two questionnaires were distributed\ the Oxford Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experi!
ences “OÐLIFE^ Mason et al[\ 0884# and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale “HADS^
Zigmond + Snaith\ 0872#[
The OÐLIFE\ based on the Combined Schizotypal Traits Questionnaire “CSTQ^ Bentall et al[\
0878#\ reduced sixteen schizotypy questionnaires to four factors using factor analysis] Unusual
Experiences\ Cognitive Disorganization\ Introvertive Anhedonia and Impulsive Nonconformity[
Unusual Experiences “UnEx# represents the positive symptomatology aspect of the schizotypal
personality\ characterized by aberrant perceptions and beliefs[ This factor has the most consistent
emergence in analyses of the schizotypy scales “Muntaner\ Garcia!Sevilla\ Fernandez\ + Torrubia\
0877^ Bentall et al[\ 0878^ Raine + Allbutt\ 0878^ Kelley + Coursey\ 0881^ Kendler + Hewitt\
0881#[ Questions on this factor include {{I have felt that I have special\ almost magical powers||
and {{Does your sense of smell sometimes become unusually strong<||[
Cognitive Disorganization “CogDis# has also been conceptualized as positive symptomatology\
but relates more to social anxiety\ emotional sensitivity and attentional di.culties[ It is represented
by questions such as {{Do you worry too long after an embarrassing experience<|| and {{I am easily
distracted when I read or talk to someone||[
Introvertive Anhedonia “IntAn# representing negative symptomatology\ is concerned with a lack
of enjoyment in social contact and a lack of physical sources of pleasure[ This is identi_ed by
questions such as {{Are you rather lively<|| and {{I prefer watching television to going out with
The fourth factor of Impulsive Nonconformity “ImpNon# includes poor self control\ mood swings
and antisocial tendencies[ This is scored using questions such as {{Do you often overindulge in
alcohol or food<|| and {{Do people who drive carefully annoy you<||[
Also included in the questionnaire is the Social Desirability and Extraversion scales of the
Eysenck Personality Questionnaire “EPQ^ Eysenck + Eysenck\ 0864#\ and the Schizotypal Per!
S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56 50
sonality Scale “STA^ Claridge + Broks\ 0873#[ The questionnaire has 048 items overall\ and
individuals are required to answer {yes| or {no| to each item on a separate answer sheet[
The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale “HADS^ Zigmond + Snaith\ 0872# was originally
designed to measure anxiety and depression in patients[ It has\ however\ been validated in normal
groups “Abiodun\ 0883# and was used here because of its brevity[ It has seven depression items
and seven anxiety items\ with each question having a choice of four options ranging from the
presence of a symptom through to the absence of a symptom[
2[ Results
The means\ standard deviations and range of scores on the two questionnaires for the three
groups are displayed in Table 1[ No signi_cant correlation was observed between social desirability
and the four OÐLIFE factors\ or between social desirability and STA\ implying that the schizotypy
scores were not under reported[ No signi_cant correlation was obtained between age and the four
OÐLIFE factors\ or between age and STA[ 1×2 ANOVAs with gender and group as the two
factors did not reveal any signi_cant di}erences on the above measures\ apart from Introvertive
Table 1
Means\ S[D[s “in parentheses# and range of scores on the two questionnaires for nonreligious\ Christian and
Mean “S[D[# Range “n#
Nonreligious Christian NRMs Nonreligious Christian NRMs
CogDis 09[6 “6[0# 8[7 “4[7# 01[8 “4[8# 9Ð13 “39# 0Ð12 “22# 3Ð11 “11#
IntAn 3[3 “2[5# 5[2 “3[7# 7[9 “3[6# 9Ð03 “39# 9Ð06 “22# 0Ð05 “11#
ImpNon 09[6 “3[9# 7[1 “2[2# 09[5 “3[4# 2Ð10 “39# 2Ð03 “22# 2Ð07 “11#
UnEx 7[3 “6[0# 7[9 “6[2# 06[0 “6[2# 9Ð17 “39# 9Ð29 “22# 1Ð17 “11#
Ext 02[6 “4[2# 02[8 “3[6# 00[4 “4[8# 0Ð10 “39# 2Ð10 “22# 0Ð19 “11#
Soc[ Des[ 3[6 “2[1# 6[4 “2[3# 4[8 “3[9# 9Ð02 “39# 9Ð03 “22# 9Ð03 “11#
STA 02[3 “7[9# 01[9 “6[7# 10[3 “4[4# 9Ð18 “39# 1Ð24 “22# 8Ð22 “11#
Anxiety 6[7 “3[2# 5[3 “2[7# 8[5 “3[0# 0Ð06 “25#a 9Ð05 “20#a 3Ð19 “03#a
Depression 2[1 “1[4# 1[3 “1[4# 4[0 “2[1# 9Ð00 “25#a 9Ð7 “20#a 1Ð02 “03#a
p³9[90 “One!way ANOVAs between the three groups#[
CogDis] Cognitive Disorganization “OÐLIFE^ Mason et al[\ 0884#^ IntAn] Introvertive Anhedonia “OÐLIFE#^
ImpNon] Impulsive Nonconformity “OÐLIFE#] UnEx] Unusual Experiences “OÐLIFE#^ Ext] Extraversion
Scale ” from EPQ^ Eysenck + Eysenck\ 0864#^ Soc[ Des] Social Desirability scale ” from EPQ#^ STA] Schizotypal
Personality “Claridge + Broks\ 0873#^ Anxiety] Anxiety “from HADS^ Zigmond + Snaith\ 0872#^ Depression]
Depression “from HADS#[ a
Four individuals from the nonreligious group\ two from the Christian group and eight from the Hare
Krishnas did not complete the HADS[
51 S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56
Anhedonia where a main e}ect of gender was found “F”0\ 77#6[2\ p³9[90#\ with men scoring
higher than women[ However\ the interaction with group was not signi_cant “F”1\ 77#9[6\ p9[4#[
The Druids and the Hare Krishnas did not di}er signi_cantly on any of the scales apart from
the Unusual Experience factor\ where Druids scored signi_cantly higher “t1[3\ d[f[19\ p9[92#[
However both scores were still higher than the two control groups\ signi_cantly so for the Druids
“vs[ nonreligious] t4[2\ d[f[40\ p³9[990^ vs[ Christian] t4[2\ d[f[33\ p³9[990# and
approaching signi_cance for the Hare Krishnas\ probably because of the small numbers of Hare
Krishnas “n8# “vs[ nonreligious] t0[7\ d[f[36\ p9[98^ vs[ Christian] t0[8 d[f[39\ p9[96#[
Since the di}erences were in the same direction for both groups\ and because of the reduction in
statistical power by using both groups separately due to the small numbers involved\ it was felt
justi_ed to combine the Hare Krishnas and the Druids in all subsequent analyses[
Only signi_cance levels of 9[90 and below were considered due to the large number of analyses
Highly signi_cant di}erences were found between the groups\ using one!way ANOVAs\ on the
factors of Unusual Experiences “UnEx#\ Introvertive Anhedonia “IntAn# and Impulsive Non!
conformity “ImpNon# “see Table 1#[ Di}erences were also found on the Social Desirability Scale
and the STA Scale[ No signi_cant di}erences were found for Extraversion and Cognitive Dis!
organization[ It should be noted\ however\ that the range of scores on all measures overlapped
considerably between the three groups[
For UnEx\ post hoc Sche}e tests revealed that\ as predicted\ the NRMs group scored signi_cantly
higher than both the Christians “t−3[5\ d[f[42\ p³9[990# and the nonreligious “t−3[4\
d[f[42\ p³9[990#[ The two control groups did not di}er from each other[
For IntAn\ post hoc Sche}e tests showed a signi_cant di}erence between the NRMs and the
nonreligious “t2[3\ d[f[59\ p9[990#\ with the NRMs scoring higher[ However\ no di}erences
were found between the two religious groups\ with the Christians also scoring higher than the
nonreligious\ although not to the required 9[90 signi_cance level “t1[0\ d[f[60\ p³9[94#[
ImpNon was found to be signi_cantly lower in the Christians compared to the nonreligious
“t−1[7\ d[f[60\ p³9[90#\ but no di}erences were found between the other groups[
The results from the STA scale were consistent with the UnEx factor[ The NRMs scored
signi_cantly higher than both the Christians “t−4[1\ d[f[42\ p³9[990# and the nonreligious
“t−3[1\ d[f[59\ p³9[990#[ Again the two control groups did not di}er from each other[
The Christians scored signi_cantly higher than the nonreligious on Social Desirability “t2[6\
d[f[60\ p³9[990#[ No other groups di}ered from each other on this scale[
2[1[ HADS
One!way ANOVAs were calculated\ and signi_cant di}erences were found between the groups
on the depression\ but not the anxiety measure “see Table 1#[ Post hoc Sche}e tests showed that
the NRMs group was signi_cantly more depressed than the Christians “t−2[0\ d[f[32\ p³9[90#\
although their mean score was still rather low ” _ve out of 10#[ No other signi_cant di}erences
were found among the three groups[
S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56 52
2[2[ Relationship between OÐLIFE and HADS
The correlations between the OÐLIFE factors\ the STA\ Extraversion\ HADS and Social Desir!
ability in the three groups are displayed in Table 2[
Anxiety and depression were both signi_cantly and positively correlated with the factors of
CogDis\ STA\ and UnEx[ Anxiety was correlated with ImpNon\ and depression with IntAn[
Depression was also inversely correlated with Extraversion[
3[ Discussion
As predicted\ it was found that the NRMs had higher scores on scales measuring positive
symptomatology than the Christian and the nonreligious control groups\ supporting previous
work by Jackson “0886# and Peters et al[ “in press#[ Signi_cant di}erences were revealed on the
Unusual Experiences “UnEx# factor of the Oxford and Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and
Experiences “OÐLIFE^ Mason et al[\ 0884# and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire “STA^
Claridge + Broks\ 0873#[ The UnEx factor incorporates odd beliefs\ such as mysterious forces and
magical powers\ as well as telepathy and perceptual aberrations[ It is more clearly a parallel for
the positive symptoms of psychosis “delusions and hallucinations# than Cognitive Disorganization
“CogDis#\ which relates to a lack of concentration\ social anxiety and possibly thought disorder
phenomena[ No di}erences were found between the groups on CogDis[ The STA has previously
been shown to consist of three factors “Magical Ideation\ Paranoid Ideation and Suspiciousness
and Unusual Perceptual Experiences^ Hewitt + Claridge\ 0878^ Joseph + Peters\ 0884#\ all of which
measure positive symptomatology[ The present _ndings therefore con_rm that there is an overlap
between the experiences of NRMs and psychosis\ but which is con_ned to positive symp!
tomatology\ rather than the broad spectrum of symptoms found in psychosis[
The NRMs scored signi_cantly higher on the factor of Introvertive Anhedonia “IntAn# than the
nonreligious group\ but not the Christians[ No di}erences were found between the two religious
groups[ IntAn is the negative symptomatology factor and relates to relationships with others\
emotional involvements and physical sources of pleasure[ The pattern of results on this factor
would seem to suggest that being religious\ rather than belonging to NRMs per se\ is responsible
for the higher IntAn scores[ As a tentative speculation\ this could re~ect qualities promoted by
Table 2
Correlations between OÐLIFE and HADs questionnaires for the three groups together
n70a ImpNon IntAn UnEx CogDis Soc[ Des[ Ext STA
Anxiety 9[17 9[12 9[27 9[53 9[92 −9[12 9[42
Depression 9[12 9[34 9[28 9[41 9[95 −9[26 9[38
p³9[990^ p³9[90[ a
Four individuals from the nonreligious group\ two from the Christian group and eight from the Hare
Krishnas did not complete the HADS[
53 S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56
religion\ such as quiet\ re~ective prayer and potentially solitude and meditation\ as well as the
reduced importance given to physical sources of pleasure[
One unexpected _nding was the higher rates of depression\ as measured by the Hospital Anxiety
and Depression Scale “HADS^ Zigmond + Snaith\ 0872#\ exhibited by the members of NRMs
compared to the Christian\ but not the nonreligious group[ This result contradicts Peters et al[ “in
press#\ who found that the same sample of NRMs scored signi_cantly higher than the two control
groups on all measures of delusional ideation\ apart from levels of distress[ However\ in this study\
distress was related speci_cally to the delusional items endorsed on the Delusions Inventory of
Peters et al[ “in press#\ while with the present data anxiety and depression represented a more
general a}ective state[ Secondly\ it should be noted that the higher level of depression applies to
the Druids group only\ since most of the Hare Krishna data were missing on this particular scale[
Furthermore\ their actual mean score was still rather low ” _ve out of 10# and would not qualify
for clinical depression “a score of 7Ð09 is considered borderline#[ This therefore con_rms previous
_ndings that NRMs are not\ overall\ distressed psychologically “Richardson\ 0884#[
Nevertheless\ all the positive symptomatology factors and scales “UnEx\ CogDis and STA# were
signi_cantly correlated with both the anxiety and depression scales from the HADS when the data
from the three groups were combined[ In addition\ IntAn was correlated with depression\ and
ImpNon with anxiety[ These results suggest that a}ect and positive symptomatology could indeed
be related\ and do not concur entirely with the phenomenon of the {happy schizotype| proposed
by McCreery and Claridge “0884#[ Further research on the link between positive symptomatology
and a}ect is clearly indicated to clarify these contradictory _ndings[
Overall\ the present _ndings o}er further support both for the continuity view of psychosis and
for the multidimensionality of psychosis!proneness[ Thus\ individuals from NRMs were shown to
be further along the psychosis continuum than followers of more conventional ideology\ such as
Christians and nonbelievers[ Indeed\ even this conclusion\ based on group means\ is over!simpli_ed\
as is illustrated by the overlapping range of scores between the three groups[ Furthermore\
signi_cant di}erences between the NRMs and the other two groups were found only for positive
symptomatology[ This agrees with previous _ndings which consistently report that it is the positive
aspects of schizotypy which overlap with mystical states “Greenberg\ Witzum\ + Buchbinder\ 0881^
Chadwick\ 0881#\ with intense religious phenomena “Jackson + Fulford\ 0886# and out!of!body
experiences “McCreery + Claridge\ 0884#[ It is therefore possible that it is the negative symptoms
and:or cognitive disorganization which are most pertinent to psychosis\ rather than the supposedly
more distinctive features of delusions and hallucinations[
It should be pointed out that concluding that members of NRMs are at the intersection of the
continuum from normality to psychosis is not another attempt to pathologize such individuals or
their religious beliefs[ The content and form of the NRMs participants| religious experiences were
not measured in the present study^ indeed\ since Druids and Hare Krishnas hold very di}erent
beliefs regarding their deity\ they could not have been grouped together had the purpose of this
study been to link actual religious beliefs with pathology[ Rather\ these groups were chosen because
of their divergence from mainstream ideology\ but also because they are not displaying other overt
signs of pathology “Richardson\ 0884#\ remaining functioning members of society\ unlike su}erers
of psychosis[ Rather\ the present research seems to imply that the boundaries of positive symptoms
present in psychosis are much less clear than the psychiatric literature suggests[
Cross!sectional studies such as this one cannot\ unfortunately\ determine whether there are
S[ Day\ E[ Peters : Personality and Individual Differences 16 “0888# 44Ð56 54
speci_c factors pertaining to the NRMs which lead their members to develop schizotypal traits\ or
whether high schizotypes are attracted to a framework of religion that makes sense of their
experiences[ Recent work on NRMs “see Richardson\ 0884\ for a review# would suggest that such
organizations are\ at worst\ neutral and\ at best\ benign to their members| mental health[ This
would imply that the latter suggestion is the most plausible\ although further work is obviously
indicated to extend the present limited _ndings[ For instance\ one weakness of this study is the
relatively poor return rate in the NRMs\ and our inability to ascertain any di}erences between
those who completed the questionnaires and those who chose not to[ Furthermore\ the numbers
in each group were too small to compare the two NRMs used in the study\ which have divergent
belief systems and may have slightly di}erent schizotypal pro_les “Rust\ 0881#[
A second limitation concerns the lack of control for the intensity of religious fervor among the
groups[ Thus\ the two control groups did not share the level of commitment and emotional
involvement of the NRMs\ especially the Hare Krishnas\ who completely renounce their previous
lifestyles to practice their religion[ It is therefore possible that high positive symptomatology is
only found in individuals with intense religious fervor\ rather than in individuals with idiosyncratic
beliefs per se[ Indeed\ religion itself is as complex and multifaceted as psychosis\ and is also best
conceptualized as multidimensional “Diduca + Joseph\ 0886#[ The allocation to groups in this
study was done on a rather simplistic basis\ categorizing individuals on the basis of presence or
absence of faith\ and mainstream versus unusual religious beliefs[ No consideration was given to
religious commitment\ emotional involvement\ or religious motivations[ Further work taking these
factors into account\ as well as more longitudinal analyses of members of NRMs\ would help to
disentangle such issues[
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Claridge\ G[ A[ “0876#[ The schizophrenias as nervous types revisited[ British Journal of Psychiatry\ 040\ 624Ð632[
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Liddle\ P[ “0876#[ The symptoms of chronic schizophrenia] a reexamination of the positiveÐnegative dichotomy[ British
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Research\ 59\ 018Ð037[
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