Does mindfulness moderate the relationship between self-reported emotional intelligence and facial expression recognition?

Mateusz Adamik


Modern psychology is increasingly interested in phenomena related to the flourishing of a human being, such as mindfulness or emotional intelligence (EI). Mindfulness, according to Kabat-Zinn, is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment” including the experience of emotions. The most widely studied EI concept was introduced by Salovey and Mayer. They defined it as the ability to monitor emotions and use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. One of the skills involved in EI is the recognition of emotions based on facial expressions. Interestingly, there is no link between self-reported emotional intelligence, measured by a questionnaire, and the ability to recognize facial expressions measured by a task test. Mindful people are more attuned to their implicit emotions and can reflect this awareness in their explicit self--descriptions. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between mindfulness and emotional intelligence, and to examine the moderating role of mindfulness in the relationship between self-reported EI and the ability to recognize facial expressions. The participants were 120 students from different universities of Lublin, Poland, who completed the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) by Brown and Ryan as translated into Polish by Jankowski, the Schutte Self-Report Inventory as adapted into Polish by Jaworowska and Matczak (Kwestionariusz Inteligencji Emocjonalnej; INTE), and the Emotional Intelligence Scale – Faces (Skala Inteligencji Emocjonalnej – Twarze; SIE-T) developed by Matczak, Piekarska, and Studniarek. The results show a positive relationship of emotional intelligence with mindfulness. A positive correlation was also found between mindfulness and the recognition of emotions, which is a component of EI. There was no correlation between mindfulness and the other EI component – using emotional information to guide one’s thinking and actions. As expected, there was no relationship between self-reported EI and the ability to recognize facial expressions, but – contrary to expectations – mindfulness was not a moderator of this relationship.


mindfulness; emotional intelligence; facial expression recognition; moderator

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