This is an interactive version of the Fundamentalist Belief Inventory (FBI).
Fundamentalism denotes a belief system that draws sharp boundaries between who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s in, and who’s out. The term “fundamentalism” arose in the early 20th century in an attempt to identify the core doctrines of the Christian faith (“the Fundamentals”). It has since come to designate a narrow conception of religious faith that has difficulty distinguishing essentials from non-essentials and leaves little room for ambiguity, doubt, paradox, or mystery.
The psychology and neuroscience community is coming to regard religious fundamentalism as harmful to society and as a form of mental disturbance (cf. Kathleen Taylor’s widely reported criticism of fundamentalism). At the same time, fundamentalism is enormously influential in American culture and poses a challenge to American educators (cf. the Gallup poll showing that roughly half of all Americans think God created humans as is in the last 10,000 years).
The FBI was commissioned by TheBestSchools.org and developed by a cross-disciplinary team of scholars with expertise in psychological testing, social psychology, philosophy, and religious studies. Because the dominant form of fundamentalism in the U.S. is Christian, the FBI focuses on Christian fundamentalism.
Taking The Test
The FBI consists of 40 pairs of statements. For each pair, select the statement that best reflects your views. Do not opt for a statement simply because you know it is “the right answer” or because you should choose it given your upbringing, background, or social circle. Choose a statement because you believe it or because it’s closer to what you believe. This is a forced-choice test. For some statement pairs, you may not feel comfortable with either choice, but do the best you can. The test is short and will take only a few minutes to complete.
Use of this inventory is strictly for educational purposes. It must not be taken as offering psychological advice. It must not be taken as a proof of religious orthodoxy. Take this test only if you are interested in learning about fundamentalism and how it is assessed. Your answers will be anonymous, but they will recorded and used for research.