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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology


Bernie Spilka

Please note Dr. Spilka is not accepting graduate applicants

Areas of expertise/Research interests

  • psychology of religion and prayer
  • paleontology or molecular biology
  • pre-Jamesian American psychology


  • PhD, Purdue University, 1952
  • MS, Purdue University, 1950
  • BA, New York University, University College, 1949

Selected Publications

  • Spilka, Bernard, Ladd, Kevin L. The Psychology of Prayer: A scientific approach. The Guilford Press. Sept. 12, 2012.
  • Spilka, B., Ladd, K. L., McIntosh, D. N., Milmoe, S., & Bickel, C. O. (1996). "The content of religious experience: The roles of expectancy and desirability." International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 6, 95-105.
  • Spilka, B., Spangler, J. D., Rea, M. P., & Nelson, C. "Religion and Death: The clerical perspective." Journal of Religion and Health, 20, 299-306. 1981.
  • Spilka, B., Spangler, J.D., and Nelson, C.B. "Spiritual support in life-threatening illness." Journal of Religion and Health, 22, 98-104. 1983.
  • Spilka, B. and Schmidt, G. "General attribution theory for the psychology of religion: The influence of event-character on attributions to God." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 22, 326-339. 1983.
  • Wulf, J., Prentice, D., Hansum, D., Ferrar, A. and Spilka, B. "Religiosity and sexual attitudes and behavior among single evangelical Christians." Review of Religious Research, 26, 119-131. 1984.
  • Spilka, B., Shaver, P., and Kirkpatrick, L. A. (1985). "A general attribution theory for the psychology of religion." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 24, 1-20.
  • Lehr, E. & Spilka, B. (1989). "Religion in the introductory psychology textbook: A comparison of three decades." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28, 366-371.
  • Spilka, B. (1989). "Functional and dysfunctional roles of religion: An attributional approach." Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 8, 5-15.
  • Spilka, B. (1989). "American Psychology's forgotten religious heritage." Connecticut Review. XI(2), 78-89. (Invited paper).
  • Johnson, S. C. & Spilka, B. (1991). "Religion and the breast cancer patient: The roles of clergy and faith." Journal of Religion and Health. 30, 21-33
  • Bograd, R. & Spilka, B. (1996). "Self-disclosure and marital satisfaction in mid-life and late-life remarriages." Aging and Human Development, 42, 161-172.
  • Ladd, K. L. & Spilka, B. (In press). "Ritual and prayer: Forms, functions and relationships." In R. F. Paloutzian & C. L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Religion. 2nd Edition, New York: Guilford, 365-377