Forgotten but not gone: the recall and recognition of self-threatening memories


Green, Jeffrey D., Sedikides, Constantine and Gregg, Aiden P. (2007) Forgotten but not gone: the recall and recognition of self-threatening memories Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, (3), pp. 547-561. (doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2007.10.006).

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Description/Abstract

When people selectively forget feedback that threatens the self (mnemic neglect), are those memories permanently lost or potentially recoverable? In two experiments, participants processed feedback pertaining either to themselves or to another person. Feedback consisted of a mixture of positive and negative behaviors exemplifying traits that were both central and peripheral to participants’ self-definition. In Experiment 1, participants exhibited poorer recall for, but unimpaired recognition of, self-threatening feedback (i.e., negative, central, self-referent), relative to both self-affirming feedback (positive, central, self-referent) and other-relevant feedback (positive/negative, central, other-referent). In Experiment 2, participants who had experienced ego-deflation, but not ego-inflation, exhibited mnemic neglect for recall, but not for recognition. Both experiments imply that, even after being self-protectively neglected, self-threatening memories can still be retrieved.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2007.10.006
ISSNs: 0022-1031 (print)
Keywords: self-protection, recall, recognition, repression, feedback, neglect, inhibition, retrieval
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
ePrint ID: 63104
Date :
Date Event
September 2007Submitted
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:27
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63104

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