We start with a simple plot of spiritual awareness scores across all the daily surveys. The study has generated 19,716 observations of this variable, and it is scored from 1 “not much” to 100 “very much.” Figure 1 plots a histogram of these observations.
The striking feature of Figure 1 is just how much variation there is across observations. Sometimes people rated their spiritual awareness at that moment as “1”, other times “100”, and every point in-between. This variation raises the interesting question of why people’s spiritual awareness varies so much over time.
There are some distinct patterns in this variation. The median score is “70,” suggesting that this predominately (90%) Christian sample experience relatively high levels of spiritual awareness day in and day out. Also, many observations were clustered at the ends of the scale, with almost 20% of the observations scoring 95 or higher and 6% rating five or lower. This clustering suggests that for some people, spiritual awareness can be an all-or-nothing nothing proposition. (The spike at “50” is a measurement artifact that we corrected partway through the study).
To better understand how individual people vary in their spiritual awareness, we present data for three separate participants. Each is a woman in her 50s, who is married, but they demonstrate very different patterns of spiritual awareness.
Participant #904 is a white woman who lives in California. She has a master’s degree. She’s married and has five or more kids. She is a Baptist, and she has no doubts that God exists.
She averages high levels of spiritual awareness, for half of her scores fall between 95 and 100. However, sometimes her scores dip down to the midrange of the scale.
Participant #1200 is African-American woman who lives in Florida. She is married, has two children, neither of whom lives at home. She earned an associate’s degree. She is a Presbyterian, and she has no doubts that God exists.
Her spiritual awareness varies widely. She’s always somewhat spiritually aware but never fully so. Her scores range from “26” to “86.”
Participant #1400 is a white woman who lives in New England. She has two children. She has a PhD. She identifies herself as Jewish. She sometimes believes in God.
Her spiritual awareness scores are uniformly low. All but one are at “4” or below, and that one exception is only “9.” It’s possible that for each survey she swiped the slider bar all the way to the left for this question—intending to register “not much” each time.