The Connection of Soul (COS) scale: An Assessment Tool for Afterlife Perspectives in Different Worldviews


Despite the evidence that belief in afterlife has positive implications for psychosocial functioning, there is a paucity of empirical research and measures reflecting diverse worldviews regarding literal immortality. We reported findings on a newly developed Connection of Soul (COS) scale reflecting 3 dominant worldviews conceptualizing a soul’s life after death, involving 2 perspectives of literal immortality and 1 secular perspective. Study 1 supported the scale’s tri-partite structure consisting of secular, God-centered, and cosmic-spiritual dimensions, using factor analysis. Study 2 assessed the scale’s construct validity with measures of death perspectives and religious orientation and tested the differential effects of mortality salience on the COS subscales. Study 3 replicated the structure and properties of the COS scale and extended previous studies involving measures of personality functioning, everyday life tasks, New Age beliefs, and self-transcendence. The implications of the findings for the conceptualization of beliefs in an afterlife are discussed.



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Psychology of Religion and Spirituality


American Psychological Association

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