Does brief mindfulness training increase empathy? The role of personality

Anthony P. Winning*, Simon Boag

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    This study sought to investigate if a short mindfulness induction can augment empathic functioning, while taking into account the role of the personality traits. Analysis of 102 participants suggests that a short mindfulness induction is most effective in improving cognitive empathy in individuals with lower trait Conscientiousness and Extraversion scores. No evidence was found for a moderation effect with regard to affective empathy. Results of this study are incongruent with studies utilising self-report measures of empathic functioning, but congruent with both predictions from personality theory as well as studies not assessing empathy through self-report measures. Implications for understanding the relationship between personality and mindfulness, as well as appropriate assessment procedures, are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)492-498
    Number of pages7
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


    • Empathy
    • Mindfulness
    • Personality traits
    • Big five
    • Cognitive empathy
    • Affective empathy


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