College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Is Thought-Action Fusion Related to Religiosity? Differences between Christians and Jews

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-2007

Keywords

Thought-Action Fusion, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Religiosity, Cognitions, Cross-Cultural, Morality

Publication Title

Behavior Research and Therapy

ISSN

0005-7967

Volume

45

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between thought–action fusion (TAF) and religiosity in Christians and Jews (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform). There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that religiosity is related to obsessive cognitions in Christian samples, but conceptual and empirical ambiguities complicate the interpretation of that literature and its application to non-Christian groups. As predicted on the basis of previous research, Christians scored higher than Jews on moral TAF. This effect was large and not explained by differences in self-reported religiosity. The Jewish groups did not differ from each other. Furthermore, religiosity was significantly associated with TAF only within the Christian group. These results qualify the presumed association between religiosity and obsessive cognitions. General religiosity is not associated with TAF; it rather depends on what religious group. Moreover, large group differences in a supposed maladaptive construct without evidence of corresponding differences in prevalence rates call into question the assumption that TAF is always a marker of pathology.

DOI

10.1016/j.brat.2006.05.001