Attentional Features of Mindfulness are Better Predictors of Face Recognition than Empathy and Compassion-Based Constructs

Kyriaki Giannou, Karen Lander, Jason R Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research has employed measures of either empathy, compassion or mindfulness and linked better face recognition memory to higher scores of identification with all humanity and mindfulness but not empathy or compassion. Additionally, empathy, compassion and mindfulness have been suggested as concepts that intertwine, but research has not yet examined how their respective personality questionnaires map onto latent concepts. We employed these measures together to explore their factor structure and, using structural equation modelling, we investigated if the suggested latent variables predict recognition memory performance for face and non-face stimuli. Attentional notions of mindfulness described a latent factor that predicted face recognition. All self-compassion facets and the non-react mindfulness facet described a latent factor, which predicted false alarms in face recognition. Finally, empathy and compassion-based notions described one latent factor, which did not predict recognition performance. None of the latent variables predicted performance in either object or voice recognition. Collectively, findings indicate attention-based mindfulness to benefit face recognition, prompting further research into the potential of mindfulness to support the face recognition process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00332941211061698
JournalPsychological Reports
Early online date3 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2022


  • compassion
  • empathy
  • face recognition
  • factor analysis
  • mindfulness
  • structural equation modelling


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