Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Stacey Wood

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2011 Maggie J. Tietz


There exists a severe deficit of studies exploring the psychological aspects of Christian worship experiences despite worship’s importance in Christianity and in many people’s lives. Transformational worship experiences can have lasting effects on one’s outlook and psychological functioning (Chou, 2008; Cutler, 1976; Ellison & George, 1994; Fife, Adegoke, McCoy, & Brewer, 2011; Salsman, Brown, Brechting, & Carlson, 2005), yet very few studies have investigated these experiences. The current study sought to explore the effects of group size and style of worship on participants’ feelings of deindividuation and focus on others within the congregation. Seventy-six middle aged adults from a range of ethnicities and denominations took part in an interview that included measures of religious support, social support, style of worship service, and a number of free-response questions about a transformational worship experience in the participant’s past. It was predicted that a more ceremonial worship style and that higher scores in religious and social support would be associated with less focus on specific others, that a more ceremonial worship style would be associated with more religious and social support, and that, depending on the level of religious and social support, the relationship between ceremonial style and focus on other would vary. Except for a significant positive correlation between ceremonial worship style and religious support, the proposed hypotheses were not supported.


Senior thesis completed December 2011.