What does "a change of heart" mean in the following newspaper article? Is there any difference between "a change of heart" and "a change of mind?"

Mr. Comey’s willingness to discuss the threat in public was something of a change of heart. As F.B.I. director, he supervised counterintelligence investigations into computer break-ins that harvested emails from the State Department and the White House, and that penetrated deep into the computer systems of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Source: New York Times

  • 2
    They roughly mean the same thing, but "change of heart" implies a more emotionally motivated change, while "change of mind" suggests a more mechanical/practical motivation.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 11, 2017 at 2:44

1 Answer 1


I believe they have more or less the same meaning, though I can't say I have ever heard the phrase "a change of mind". I am more familiar with a slightly different form, "... had changed my mind", versus "... had a change of heart".

"I have changed my mind" can be used a bit more broadly, to reflect a change in a specific decision or a general position.

Where as "I have had a change of heart" usually refers to the change of a specific position on a subject or attitude.

Also, note the difference in the phrasing "I have changed my mind" versus "I have had a change in heart"

  • The answer is good, but missing the information in @Hot Licks answer Jun 11, 2017 at 20:06

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