Chantelle Warren, from QUT’s School of Psychology and Counselling, would like people who describe themselves as religious or spiritual and those who have no religion or are atheists to answer an online survey about their “attachment style” and their degree of religious practice.
“Attachment is the way in which we have learnt from birth to bond with other people. Our dominant attachment style is thought to influence our relationships throughout life,” Ms Warren said.
“I am looking at what allows people to feel they have a personal relationship or an attachment with a deity.
“With two people there are two-way conversations as well as non-verbal communication through voice tone, gestures and facial expression and each adjusts their response accordingly.
“We want to know about their god relationship and the sort of feedback people get that allows them to feel they have a personal relationship with god.
“We are asking if the way they attach to humans is the same kind of relationship they form with a god figure.”
Ms Warren said several attachments styles had been identified that had their beginnings in the infant/primary caregivers relationship.
“A secure attachment is a healthy one. In a god relationship people could feel that they rely on god when things get hard or, in anxious attachment, it could manifest as feeling as though god doesn’t really love them enough or that they don’t deserve the love offered by god.
“People do change their attachment style according to circumstances and experience but they usually go through life with a dominant one.
“We want to find out about what it is in a religious relationship that keeps someone in that relationship. There has to be some feedback and we’d like to understand that.”
Ms Warren said she hoped that people whose religious behaviours included attending church, praying, or reading religious texts would respond to the survey so that it could be compared with their style and depth of attachment to god.
“We’d like to have people who don’t have any religion to also fill out the survey, in fact, it is open to anyone over the age of 18.”
To take the survey, go to: https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/181019/128a/
Media contact: Niki Widdowson QUT media, 07 3138 2999 or firstname.lastname@example.org