Predictors of superstitious beliefs

Patrick Kwaku Ofori*, David Tod, David Lavallee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated whether relationships exist among personal control, coping mechanism, primary control, secondary control and superstitious beliefs. The participants were 375 Ghanaian student athletes (females = 44%). They completed measures of self-reported superstitious beliefs, personal control, coping mechanisms, primary and secondary control strategies. The data were analysed to evaluate the correlates of both positive and negative superstitious beliefs and how constructs of personal control, coping mechanisms and control strategies, predict positive and negative superstitious beliefs. The results indicated that personal control, coping mechanisms and control strategies were predictors of negative and positive superstitious beliefs. In the final model exaggerated internal control, God-mediated control, emotional support, and substance use were predictors of negative superstitions. Exaggerated internal control, substance use, emotional support and acceptance were predictors of positive superstitions. Athletes may activate different types of superstitious beliefs to cope and gain control in situations of uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychology in Africa
Issue number1
Early online date4 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Ghana,
  • Coping mechanism
  • Personal control
  • Primary control
  • Secondary control
  • Positive and negative superstitious beliefs


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