Belief in the paranormal, coping and emotional intelligence

Paul Rogers, Pamela Qualter, Gemma Phelps, Kathryn Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research suggests that belief in the paranormal serves as a mechanism for coping with stress (Irwin, 1992) and that it is positively associated with high emotional intelligence or EI (Dudley, 2002). The present study extends this research by examining the extent to which coping strategy predicts, and EI moderates, belief in the paranormal. A general population sample of 253 predominantly Caucasian respondents completed psychometrically sound measures of each construct. Hierarchical multiple regression was performed on paranormal belief scores with predictors entered in four steps i.e. demographics, then three sub-types of coping strategy (active-cognitive, active-behaviour or avoidant), four sub-types of EI (optimism/mood regulation, appraisal of emotions, social skills, and utilisation of emotions) and 12 coping × EI interaction variables. Findings suggest a tendency not to use active-behavioural coping is moderated by low emotional appraisal in predicting global paranormal beliefs. Further, a tendency to use avoidant coping is moderated by a high utilisation of emotions in predicting the endorsement of new age philosophies. Results are discussed in relation to a ‘paranormal coping’ framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1105
Number of pages17
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


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