Edwards, A. and Lowis, M. J. (2008) Attitudes to mysticism: relationship with personality in Western and Eastern mystical traditions. Spirituality and Health International.9(3), pp. 145-160. 1743-1867.
Conceptually, attitudes to mysticism, is related to, but distinguishable from, mystical experience. Empirical data that attitudes to mysticism and mystical experience bear different relationships with personality traits such as psychoticism will provide good grounds for distinguishing these variables. Personality correlates of these two variables were assessed in this study; the latter was more directly linked with psychoticism. Comparisons were also made of how Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Pagans scored on measures of attitudes to mysticism and of mystical experience. Buddhists and Pagans scored significantly higher on the attitudes scale than did Christians or Jews, whereas scores on the mystical experience measure produced significantly different findings between Pagans and all other groups, and between Buddhists and Jews, but not between Buddhists and Christians. Between-groups differences therefore suggested further grounds for distinguishing between mystical experience and attitudes to mysticism.