Development and validation of the five-factor LAMBI measure of God representations

Kathryn Johnson, Morris Okun, Adam Cohen, Carissa Sharp, Joshua Hook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


God representations are complex and there is no standard, relatively short, and easy to administer measure reflecting both anthropomorphic and abstract representations of God. We developed a new measure with five dimensions: Limitless, Authoritarian, Mystical, Benevolent, and Ineffable (the LAMBI scale). In Study 1, we used exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of a preliminary list of 41 common adjectives that people might use to describe God. In Study 2, we identified the 25 best-fitting items, using confirmatory factor analysis to show that a five-factor model fit well, and began to validate the new scale using measures of religious commitment, individualistic spirituality, and Quest. In Study 3, we found the scale has good test-retest reliability. In Study 4, we examined the contribution of the LAMBI scales in predicting conservatism, values, and beliefs, above and beyond two existing measures of God
representations. In Study 5, we used latent profile analysis to identify four response patterns across the five dimensions: Relational, Abstract, Unbelief, and Amorphous (no differences across the five dimensions) and show little relation between these profiles and religious group membership. We conclude that the LAMBI scale assesses important individual differences in thinking about God and can potentially be used to predict beliefs and social attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-349
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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