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Presence and personality: A factoral exploration of the relationship between facets of dispositional mindfulness and personality

Mather, Phillip; Ward, Tony; Cheston, Richard

Authors

Phillip Mather

Tony Ward Tony.Ward@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Counselling & Psychotherapy



Abstract

Background / Aims / Objectives
The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between the discrete facets of personality and dispositional, or trait-like, Mindfulness.

Methodology / Methods
The study employed a factoral quantitative design and 229 participants completed two online measures, the Five Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and the NEO-PI-R Personality Questionnaire. The latter measured the ‘Big Five’ factors of personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) and their 30 associated facets. Participant data was analysed via Principal Components Analysis with Varimax rotation utilising scores across all 35 variables, that is, the 5 dispositional Mindfulness domains plus the 30 personality facets.

Results / Findings
Analysis resulted in the emergence of a 5-factor model. These 5 ‘new’ factors aligned closely with the ‘Big Five’ personality factors. Hence, dispositional Mindfulness domains were statistically indistinct from established factors of personality. Notably, 3 out of the 5 FFMQ dispositional Mindfulness domains (namely, Non-Judging of Inner Experience, Non-Reactivity to Inner Experience, and Acting with Awareness) loaded inversely on to the ‘Neuroticism’ factor. Additionally, 2 FFMQ domains (Acting with Awareness and Describing) loaded positively on to ‘Conscientiousness’, while 1 FFMQ domain (Observe) loaded positively on to ‘Openness’. These results align with previous studies conducted at factor level while deepening understanding of facet-level relationships.


Discussion / Conclusions
Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention is now utilised extensively, often within the context of a broader therapeutic approach. The results of this study suggest that tailoring such interventions more to the client’s particular personality may maximise benefit and negate the possibility of harmful consequences. For example, accentuating self-compassion, perhaps by setting the work in the context of a richer compassion-based approach, could be beneficial for a self-critical client scoring highly on trait Neuroticism.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Counselling Psychology Review
Print ISSN 0269-6975
Publisher British Psychological Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 2
APA6 Citation Mather, P., Ward, T., & Cheston, R. (in press). Presence and personality: A factoral exploration of the relationship between facets of dispositional mindfulness and personality. Counselling Psychology Review- British Psychological Society, 34(2),
Keywords mindfulness, personality, factor, analysis
Publisher URL https://www.bps.org.uk