Student Poster Award

Reliability and Validity of the Circumplex Religious Orientation Inventory (CROI)

The Circumplex Religious Orientation Inventory (CROI) was developed to gain a greater understanding as to why individuals may approach or avoid religion.

By Steven L. Isaak

Krauss and Hood (2013) designed the Circumplex Religious Orientation Inventory (CROI) to gain a greater understanding as to why individuals may approach or avoid religion. The problem with trying to measure religiosity is that religion may be applied in numerous and complex ways. Established models that have attempted to define religiosity in the past, (e.g. I/E-Revised and Quest) have been criticized for their inability to adequately represent the many facets of religious motivations (Beck & Jessup, 2004; Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989; Gorsuch, 1994; Hill et al., 2012; Kirkpatrick & Hood 1990; Krauss & Hood 2013).

As an extremely new measure, the CROI has shown promising results that suggest it could clarify the ambiguity found in other established models (Krauss & Hood, 2013). It includes 10 subscales to measure independent constructs along two main dimensions: the extent to which an individual is devoted to a religion (commitment), and the extent to which an individual's belief system is incontestable or subjective in nature (reflective). However, an independent study was needed due to certain limitations in Krauss and Hood's (2013) original method. The sample they used for their American Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was too small (n = 257). Additionally, Krauss and Hood relied heavily on samples of university students, which they admitted could pose a problem for replication in a more diverse sample. Isaak and colleagues overcame these limitations by collecting a large, representative sample from the general population of the United States.

The study evaluated the reliability and validity of the CROI using a convenience sample of Central Washington University psychology students (n = 176), and a national online quota sample (n= 564), which was collected by Qualtrics. The size of this sample was determined according to the recommendations of Meyers, Gamst, & Guarino (2006) for performing a CFA. The quota sample was composed of percentages that reflect the general population of the United States on gender, race and socioeconomic status.

The analyses that were performed included: 1) internal consistency (Cronbach's Alpha) of the 10 subscales in both samples, 2) a confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) using the Qualtrics sample, n = 564 , and 3) a t est-retest reliability (intraclass correlation) using a Qualtrics subsample, n = 100. On the whole, Isaak and colleagues found the CROI to be a reliable and valid measure. The average Cronbach's alpha coefficients across both samples were above .80 for all subscales. When method factors were included to account for the variability due to positively vs. negatively scored items, the CFA demonstrated excellent fit. Finally, the test-retest reliability analysis found that most of the subscales hovered near or above the acceptable level of r = .80.

Isaak and colleagues' findings support those put forth by Krauss & Hood (2013), and find the CROI to be a valid and stable model. They believe that future research will demonstrate the ability of the CROI to clear up much of the ambiguity found in established models of I/E and Q, and may even go so far as to help identify what these established models are actually measuring.

About the Author

Steve IsaakSteve Isaak is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar at Central Washington University where he is finishing up his BA in psychology. He recently completed an honors thesis under the direction of a faculty committee and is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology or counseling. His areas of interest include religious motivation, religious resilience, tests and measurements, and emerging adulthood. He and his wife Janna have been married for 15 years and have three children.


Beck, R., & Jessup, R. K. (2004). The multidimensional nature of Quest motivation. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 32, 283-294. doi: 0091-6471/410-730

Gorsuch, R. L., & Mcpherson, S. E. (1989). Intrinsic/Extrinsic measurement: I/E-Revised and single-item scales. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28, 348-354. doi:10.2307/1386745

Gorsuch, R. L. (1994). Toward motivational theories of intrinsic religious commitment. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 33, 315-325. doi:10.2307/1386491

Hill, P. C., Smith, E., & Sandage, S. J. (2012). Religious and spiritual motivations in clinical practice. In J. D. Aten, K. A. O'Grady, & E. L. Worthington (Authors), The psychology of religion and spirituality for clinicians: Using research in your practice (pp. 69-99). New York, NY: Routledge.

Kirkpatrick, L. A., & Hood, R. W. (1990). Intrinsic-Extrinsic religious orientation: The boon or bane of contemporary psychology of religion? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 29, 442-462. doi:10.2307/1387311

Krauss, S. W., & Hood, R. W. (2013). A new approach to religious orientation: The commitment-reflectivity circumplex. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Meyers, L. S., Gamst, G. and Guarino, A. J., (2006). Applied Multivariate research: Design and interpretation. Sage.