Exploring the relationship between mindfulness, compassion and unfamiliar face identification

Kiki Giannou, Jason R. Taylor, Karen Lander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Research has related empathy to face recognition. Empathy is proposed as part of compassion, while compassion relates to self-compassion and mindfulness, which may be more effective in face recognition than empathy alone. Experiment 1 investigated the relationship between compassion, self-compassion and empathy, and unfamiliar face recognition memory and matching. Self-compassion, including its facets of mindfulness and common humanity, were related to better recognition, but not matching. Results did not support a relationship between face identification and empathy or compassion. Experiments 2 and 3 further investigated common humanity and mindfulness and found both constructs to relate to face recognition memory. Furthermore, aspects of mindfulness (i.e., act aware and describe) positively related to face recognition. Experiment 3 used an array matching task to further show that matching did not relate to mindfulness or common humanity. The present findings may inform new directions in face recognition research, aiming to practically assist face recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-322
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Face recognition
  • compassion
  • empathy
  • mindfulness‌
  • self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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