Caffeine, stress, and proneness to psychosis-like experiences: a preliminary investigation

Simon R. Jones, Charles Fernyhough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In diathesis-stress models of psychosis, cortisol released in response to stressors is proposed to play a role in the development of psychotic experiences. Individual differences in cortisol response to stressors are therefore likely to play a role in proneness to psychotic experiences. As caffeine has been found to increase cortisol response to a given stressor, we proposed that, when levels of stress were controlled for, caffeine intake would be related to hallucination-proneness and persecutory ideation. Caffeine intake, stress, hallucination-proneness and persecutory ideation were assessed by self-report questionnaires in a non-clinical sample (N = 219). Caffeine intake was positively related to stress levels and hallucination-proneness, but not persecutory ideation. When stress levels were controlled for, caffeine intake predicted levels of hallucination-proneness but not persecutory ideation. Implications of these findings are discussed and avenues for future research suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-564
Number of pages3
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Coffee
  • Hallucination
  • Persecutory ideation
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tea


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