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Abstract

Religious change was an important theme in the psychology of religion from its beginning with a focus on conversion, but with the emergence of new religious movements and the recent growth of religious unaffiliation, religious exiting and deconversion received growing attention. This review evaluates recent progress in deconversion research by the inclusion of key psychological constructs, such as personality, values, attachment, prosociality, well-being, religious socialization and development, and by an engagement in longitudinal investigation. The Outlook calls for exploring more psychological constructs, focusing decisively on longitudinal assessment, accounting for cultural and religious differences, and keeping the balance and complementarity between nomothetic and idiothetic approaches in order to account for the varieties of biographical changes that are denoted by ‘deconversion.’