Date of Award

Spring 2016

Thesis Type

Rollins Access Only

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Andrew Luchner

Committee Member

Jennifer Queen

Committee Member

Sharon Carnahan


The personality characteristics of nonreligious and religious individuals have been studied; however, more research has been produced on religious populations, and research into specific personality constructs has been less common. Perception research has shown that atheists, who fall under the larger category of nonreligious, are seen as more grandiose and vulnerable narcissistic, as well as having less empathy. In order to investigate this trend’s existence, the present study collected responses from Christians (n = 125) and nonreligious individuals (n = 124) on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS), and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Additionally, a short religiosity scale was adapted to measure specific beliefs in both participant groups. Christian participants scored higher on a scale of the NPI measuring grandiosity, while nonreligious participants scored higher on the HSNS, indicating greater vulnerable narcissism. These findings implicate the role of identity, particularly those which hold power or indicate marginalization in society, in the development and support the need for further research on nonreligious populations.

Rights Holder

Sarah Julianna Dubendorff