The Interplay Between Cognitive Intelligence, Ability Emotional Intelligence, and Religiosity

  • Paweł ŁowickiEmail author
  • Marcin Zajenkowski
  • Dimitri van der Linden
Original Paper


The negative association between cognitive intelligence (CI) and religiosity has been widely studied and is now well documented. In contrast, the role of emotional intelligence (EI) in this context has been poorly investigated thus far. Some available data indicate that EI, unlike CI, correlates positively with religiosity. To date, however, no study has explored the relationship between religiosity and both intelligences simultaneously. In current studies (Ns = 301 and 200), we examined the interplay between all three constructs. The results showed that CI was positively correlated with ability EI and negatively with some measures of religiosity. EI, on the other hand, revealed no direct, significant relationship with religiosity. However, when combined into a single regression model with CI, EI became a significant positive predictor of religiosity. Moreover, Study 2 revealed that the link between EI and religiosity was mediated by empathy. Interestingly, we also found a reciprocal suppression between CI and EI, since both predictors increased their influence on religiosity when analyzed together. Although the suppression was present in both studies, it was observed for different religiosity measures in each case, indicating that this effect is probably dependent on various factors, such as sample structure or type of religiosity.


Religiosity Belief Cognitive intelligence Emotional intelligence Empathy 



Funding was provided by The National Science Center in Poland (2016/23/B/HS6/00312).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest for this paper.

Supplementary material

10943_2019_953_MOESM1_ESM.doc (40 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 40 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Education, and Child StudiesErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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