Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1918-1988) Social psychologist most noted for research on attitudes, beliefs, and values.

Rokeach's influential theory of dogmatism was developed in response to perceived inadequacies in the authoritarian personality research tradition. In particular, Rokeach argues that the process of belief is more a determinant of prejudice than the content of belief. His dogmatism construct and the widely used scale to assess it, the Dogmatism Scale , purports to be an ideological and content-free measure of closed-mindedness. It has been used widely in studies of religion and prejudice.

In 1969, Rokeach delivered the H. Paul Douglass lecture to the Religious Research Association in which he proposed the Rokeach Value Survey , a way to rankmeasure instrumental and terminal values. Generally, he proposed that the religious are less socially compassionate than others, a finding that continues to stimulate debate and research in the contemporary empirical psychology of religion.

Ralph W. Hood, Jr .


M. Rokeach, "Political and Religious Dogmatism," Psychological Monographs 425(1956)

M. Rokeach, The Open and Closed Mind (New York: Basic Books, 1960)

M. Rokeach, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1968)

M. Rokeach, "The H. Paul Douglass Lectures for 1969," Review of Religious Research 11(1969):1-39.

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