Raymond F. Paloutzian, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor of Psychology


Psychology of Religion, Social Psychology


Raymond F. Paloutzian (PhD, Claremont Graduate School) is Professor Emeritus of Experimental and Social Psychology, Westmont College (1981-2007), and was consultant to the Religion, Experience, and Mind (REM) Lab Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2013-2020).  He was Visiting Professor at Stanford University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.  He is Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Psychological Association (APA) and its divisions of the Society of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Psychology of Teaching, General Psychology, and International Psychology.  He is also a member of the APA divisions on Peace Psychology and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Ray edited The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion for 18 years, from 1998-2016. He wrote the milestone textbook Invitation to the Psychology of Religion (1st ed., 1983; 3rd ed., 2017, Guilford), that helped establish psychology of religion in its modern period. He co-edited Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Psychological Pathways to Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (Springer, 2010), the Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (1st ed. 2005, 2nd ed. 2013, Guilford), Processes of Believing: The Acquisition, Maintenance, and Change in Creditions (Springer, 2017), and Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World (Springer, 2021).  He aided research on refugees in Turkey from the war in Syria that lasted from 2011-2020, and has given invited talks on "The Psychology of Religion in Global Perspective" in various countries around the world. 

The Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS)

Ray Paloutzian and his friend and colleague Craig W. Ellison developed the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS) during the years 1979-1982.  It has since received over 1000 citations, been used or highlighted in over 300 research articles and book chapters, 200 doctoral dissertations and master's theses, 6 books, and 85 posters and presentations.  It has also been translated into 20 languages and variations for use with children and adolescents.  For gratis download access to the SWBS, its translations, manual, research bibliography, and other resources, click here.


Seitz, R. J., Angel, H.-F. Paloutzian, R., & Taves, A., Eds. (2023).  Credition - An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Nature of Beliefs and Believing. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-8325-2993-5

Ai, A. L., Wink, P., Paloutzian, R. F.,  & Harris, K. A. (Eds.) (2021). Assessing spirituality in a diverse world.  Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG.

Paloutzian, R. F. (2017). Invitation to the psychology of religion, 3rd. ed. New York: Guilford.

Angel, H.-F., Oviedo, L. Paloutzian, R. F., Runihov, A. L. C., & Seitz, R. J. (Eds.) (2017). Processes of Believing: The Acquisition, Maintenance, and Change in Creditions. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.

Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.) (2013). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality, 2nd ed. New York, NY. Guilford.

Kalayjian, A., & Paloutzian, R. F. (Eds.).  (2010). Forgiveness and reconciliation: Psychological pathways for conflict transformation and peace building New York, NY: Springer.

Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.) (2005). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality. New York, NY. Guilford.  Translated into Turkish (2013) and Chinese (2015).

Paloutzian, R. F. (1996). Invitation to the psychology of religion, 2nd. ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Paloutzian, R.F. (1983). Invitation to the psychology of religion. Glenview, IL, Scott, Foresman.