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SPIRITUAL TRANSCENDENCE SCALE

HAND SCORING THE

ASPIRES
SPIRITUAL TRANSCENDENCE SCALE
SHORT FORM

Ralph L. Piedmont‚ Ph.D.

ASPIRES is copyrighted 1999‚ 2004 by Ralph L. Piedmont‚ Ph.D. Further reproduction is prohibited without express permission of Dr. Piedmont.

Spiritual Transcendence (ST) represents the ability of an individual to stand outside of his/her immediate sense of time and place and to view life from a larger‚ more objective perspective. This transcendent perspective is one in which the person sees a fundamental unity underlying the diverse strivings of nature. People high on ST believe that there is a larger plan and meaning to life‚ something beyond our mortal existence. Despite all the ups and downs in life‚ there is something more permanent and constant that gives direction‚ meaning‚ and value to life. Those low on ST are more concerned with the material aspects of life and see no larger meaning to life other than what life offers in the here and now. There are three aspects to ST: Prayer Fulfillment‚ a feeling of joy and contentment that results from personal encounters with the god of one's understanding; Universality‚ a belief that all of life is intimately tied together; and Connectedness‚ a belief that one is part of a larger human reality that cuts across generations and groups.

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Section II.
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Neutral
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree
1. In the quiet of my prayers and /or meditations‚ I find a sense of wholeness.
1
1
1
1
1
2. I have done things in my life because I believed it would please a parent‚ relative‚ or friend that had died.
1
1
1
1
1
3. Although dead‚ memories and thoughts of some of my relatives continue to influence my current life.
1
1
1
1
1
4. I find inner strength and/or peace from my prayers and/or meditations.
1
1
1
1
1
5. I do not have any strong emotional ties to someone who has died.
1
1
1
1
1
6. There is no higher plane of consciousness or spirituality that binds all people.
1
1
1
1
1
7. Although individual people may be difficult‚ I feel an emotional bond with all of humanity.
1
1
1
1
1
8. My prayers and/or meditations provide me with a sense of emotional support.
1
1
1
1
1
9. I feel that on a higher level all of us share a common bond.
1
1
1
1
1

To Score the STS-R‚ points are assigned to your responses to each item. For items 1‚ 2‚ 3‚ 4‚ 7‚ 8‚ and 9 assign 5 points for each Strongly Agree response‚ 4 points for each Agree‚ 3 points for each Neutral‚ 2 points for each Disagree‚ and 1 point for each Strongly Disagree. For items 5 and 6‚ the opposite applies; give 1 point for each Strongly Agree‚ 2 points for Agree‚ 3 points for Neutral‚ 4 points for Disagree‚ and 5 points for Strongly Disagree. Add your scores for all nine items together. The table below presents the average range of scores by gender and age group. If your total score falls in this range‚ then you have an interest in understanding broader‚ transcendent issues‚ but also have concerns for immediate needs. You balance both perspectives. If your score is higher than these values‚ then you have a strong Spiritual Transcendent Orientation. You are concerned with living a life that is in accord with values and meanings that originate with some larger understanding of the purpose of the universe. You tend to see life in terms of "both and" rather than "either or". Individuals whose score is lower than the tabled values are more focused on the tangible realities of daily living. There may be more of a self-oriented focus to life‚ where personal concerns and issues are of greater concern.

Gender
Age
Total
STS
Prayer
Fulfillment
Items 1‚ 4‚ 8
Universality
Items 6‚ 7‚ 9
Connected-
ness
Items 2‚ 3‚ 5
Women
Up to age 21
Ages 21 - 30
Ages 30 and up
29-35
32-38
35-39
9-12
11-13
11-14
9-12
11-13
11-13
10-12
10-13
10-12
Men
Up to age 21
Ages 21 - 30
Ages 30 and up
27-33
23-29
34-38
8-11
7-11
13-15
9-11
6-10
11-13
9-12
8-11
10-12


To get a better sense of your standing on the different aspects of ST‚ you can find your score on each of the three facets. For Prayer Fulfillment‚ add your point values for items 1‚ 4‚ and 8. Finding your gender and age group in the above table‚ look to see what the average range of scores are. If your score is in this range‚ this indicates that there are times when you derive some emotional satisfaction from prayer and/or mediation. However‚ there are times when the pressures of daily life interfere with‚ or prevent‚ you from engaging in such practices. If your score is higher‚ then you are someone who has cr‎eated a space in your life that is devoted to meditation and prayer on a regular basis. Individuals who score high tend to find a personal sense of emotional satisfaction‚ strength‚ and support in their efforts to connect with some larger reality. Time spent in this positive solitude provides fortification and feelings of emotional renewal during times of crisis and stress. Those who score lower than the average tend not to involve themselves with this type of inner work. Any efforts at meditation or prayer are more haphazard in nature and superficial in depth. Such individuals are easily distracted by the immediate demands of their lives from meditative pursuits.

For Universality‚ add your scores for items 6‚ 7‚ and 9. Again‚ the table provides the average range of scores. Such scores reflect a belief that there are some things in life to which the person feels close (e.g.‚ people‚ organizations)‚ but there are also aspects of life to which the individual may feel distant or believe to be alien. High scores represent a belief that all of life is interconnected. There is the belief that all people share a common bond and heritage that supercedes any external differences. Seeing humanity as a single‚ interrelated body breeds a broad respect for others and a corresponding need to protect life in all its forms. Hurting any one element may hurt the whole. Low scores reflect a more "go it alone" type attitude; that each person needs to rely on him/herself. Humanity may be viewed as simply a collection of individuals‚ some may be seen as more similar to self than others. There can be a "we versus they" mentality.

For Connectedness‚ add your scores to items 2‚ 3‚ and 5. Average scores reflect a belief that relationships are important but one's commitment to others may be limited to certain individuals. High scores represent a belief that a person is like a hub of a wheel‚ with spokes radiating out in all directions. These "spokes" represent relationships one has‚ as well as obligations‚ to those who preceded the person (e.g.‚ parents‚ grandparents‚ one's ancestors)‚ to those who co-occupy the current world both immediately (current family‚ friends‚ co-workers) and distally (strangers who may be in need)‚ to those who will come after (e.g.‚ children‚ grandchildren‚ future generations). Those who score high on this dimension experience a special sense of responsibility (and gratitude) for the many gifts received from those who came before; recognize a need to grow these gifts through sharing with others; and see an obligation to insure that the wisdom and wealth of this generations is transmitted to those who come after. Low scores reflect a potential difficulty to find a sense of belonging and meaning within any type of group or community. Such individuals may have feelings of isolation and/or alienation from others. Low scores would reflect a tendency to view one's life only from the immediacy of one's personal history.

The ASPIRES measures both spirituality and religiosity. It comes in both a long form (35 items) and a short form (13 items). To receive a free specimen set contact Dr. Piedmont at RPiedmont@loyola.edu.

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