Dr Sarah Davis

Dr sarah davis

Senior Lecturer Psychology, Course Leader, MSc Psychology, Interpersonal Relationships and Wellbeing Research Group Lead

Department of Performance, Health and Wellbeing

Contact Details

email: sarah.davis@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 85 5372

Sarah obtained a first class BSc (Hons) Psychology degree from the University of Teesside and went on to complete an MRes Psychology with Distinction and PhD at the University of Manchester.  Before joining the team at Worcester in 2012, she held various research positions at the Universities of Birmingham and Manchester and a Teaching Fellowship at Manchester, teaching on the MSc Psychology of Education programme for 5 years.

Sarah is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and member of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID) and the Society for Affective Science (SAS).  She is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of School and Educational Psychology and Frontiers in Psychology. Sarah’s research focuses on individual differences in development with a specialism in Emotional Intelligence.


PGCert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education     
BSc (Hons) Psychology    
MRes Psychology     

Teaching & Research

Sarah teaches a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate topics allied to Individual Differences, Developmental Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology, Social Psychology, and Research Methods.  She supervises undergraduate and postgraduate student research projects.

Sarah’s research focuses on individual differences in development and particularly how emotional intelligence contributes to stress and mental health within a resilience framework.  She has published widely in this area using cross-sectional, prospective, and experimental methodological designs. Current projects include examining how emotional intelligence contributes to psychological health in workers following the global pandemic, and how emotionally intelligent competencies relate to early attentional preferences for emotional information under stressful conditions (in the lab and online).  She also explores how emotional intelligence promotes online behaviours.  Sarah also explores measurement and conceptual issues relating to the construct, including how emotional intelligence relates to detection and recognition of emotional expression in facial and vocal cues. 

Sarah supervises PhD research and is particularly interested in receiving expressions of interest from applicants with interests relating to individual differences, resilience, and social cognition.

PhD Project Ideas

Professional Bodies

  • Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)
  • Chartered Scientist (CSci)
  • Division of Academics, Teachers and Researchers in Psychology
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID) 
  • Society for Affective Science (SAS) 


Davis, S.K., Morningstar, M., & Qualter, P. (2020). Ability EI predicts recognition of dynamic facial emotions, but not beyond the effects of crystallized IQ, Personality and Individual Differences doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.109968

Davis, S. K., Morningstar, M., Dirks, M. A., & Qualter, P. (2020). Ability emotional intelligence: What about recognition of emotion in voices? Personality and Individual Differences, 160, 109938. doi: 10.1016/J.PAID.2020.109938

Davis, S.K., & Qualter, P. (2020). Emotional competence [Part 2 Adolescent - Volume X: The Self]. In S. Hupp & J. Jewell (Eds). The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781119171492.wecad475

Qualter, P. & Davis, S.K., (2020). Emotional intelligence. [Part 1 Child – Volume IV: Emotion]. In S. Hupp & J. Jewell (Eds). The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. doi:10.1002/9781119171492.wecad174

Davis, S.K., Nowland, R., & Qualter, P. (2019).   The role of emotional intelligence in the maintenance of depression symptoms and loneliness among children. Frontiers in Psychology. 10, (1672).  doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01672

Lea, R.G.*, Davis, S.K., Mahoney, B., & Qualter, P. (2019).   Does emotional intelligence buffer the effects of acute stress? A systematic review.  Frontiers in Psychology. 10, (810). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00810

Davis, S.K., & Wigelsworth, M. (2018). The structural and predictive properties of the Emotional Quotient Inventory Youth Version – Short Form (EQi:YVS).  Journal of Personality Assessment. 100, 2, 197-206, DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2017.1280502.

Davis, S.K., (2018). Emotional Intelligence in Adolescence and Early Adulthood. In P.Qualter & L. Dacre-Pool (Eds.) An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence. UK: Wiley-Blackwell

Lea., R.G., Qualter, P., Davis, S.K., Pérez-González, J.C., & Bangee, M.,(2018).Trait emotional intelligence and attentional bias for positive emotion An eye tracking study. Personality and Individual Differences,128, 88-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2018.02.017.

Davis, S.K., (2018). Emotional intelligence and attentional bias for threat-related emotion under stress. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/sjop.12439

Qualter, P., Davis, S.K., Keefer, K. V., Parker, J.D.A., Saklofske, D.H, Wigelsworth, M., Simmons, N., & Stough, C., (2017). Emotional competency in education: Core concepts and applications. British Journal of Educational Psychology Monograph Series II, Psychological Aspects of Education Current Trends, 12, 51-69.

Davis, S. K., Farrelly, D., Muse, K, & Walklet, E., (2016). Technology enhanced learning in Psychology: Current directions and perspectives. Worcester Journal of Learning and Teaching. ISSN 2024-8032.

Walklet, E., Davis, S. K., Farrelly, D., & Muse, K. (2016). The impact of Student Response Systems on the learning experience of undergraduate psychology students. Psychology Teaching Review, 22 (1), 35-48

Davis, S.K., & Nichols, R. (2016). Does emotional intelligence have a dark side? A review of the literature. Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (1316). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01316.

Davis, S.K., & Humphrey, N. (2014). Ability versus trait emotional intelligence: Dual influences on adolescent psychological adaptation. Journal of Individual Differences, 35 (1), 54-62.

Davis, S.K. (2013). Can 'emotionally intelligent' coping promote adaptation in young people? The Psychology of Education Review (Special Edition: New Directions in Emotional Education and Development), 37 (2), 5-12.

Davis, S.K., & Humphrey, N. (2012). The influence of emotional intelligence (EI) on coping and mental health in adolescence: Divergent roles for trait and ability EI. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1369-1379.

Davis, S.K., & Humphrey, N. (2012). Emotional intelligence predicts adolescent mental health beyond personality and cognitive ability. Personality and Individual Differences, 52 (2), 144-149.

Davis, S.K., & Humphrey, N. (2012). Emotional intelligence as a moderator of stressor-mental health relations in adolescence: Evidence for specificity. Personality and Individual Differences, 52 (1), 100-105.

Lum, J., Kidd, E., Davis, S., & Conti-Ramsden, G. (2010). A longitudinal study of declarative and procedural memory in primary school aged children. Australian Journal of Psychology, 62, 139-148.