The Moderating Effect of Mental Toughness: Perception of Risk and Belief in the Paranormal

Kenneth Drinkwater, Neil Dagnall, Andrew Denovan, Andrew Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This research demonstrates that higher levels of mental toughness provide cognitive-perceptual processing advantages when evaluating risk. No previous research, however, has examined mental toughness in relation to perception of risk and paranormal belief (a variable associated with distorted perception of causality and elevated levels of perceived risk). Accordingly, the present paper investigated relationships between these factors. A sample of 174 participants completed self-report measures assessing mental toughness, general perception of risk, and paranormal belief. Responses were analyzed via correlations and moderation analyses. Results revealed that mental toughness correlated negatively with perception of risk and paranormal belief, whereas paranormal belief correlated positively with perception of risk. For the moderation effects, simple slopes analyses indicated that high levels of MT and subfactors of commitment and confidence reduced the strength of association between paranormal belief and perceived risk. Therefore, MT potentially acts as a protective factor among individuals who believe in the paranormal, reducing the tendency to perceive elevated levels of risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-287
Number of pages20
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number1
Early online date5 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


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