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Two sides to self-protection: self-improvement strivings and feedback from close relationships eliminate mnemic neglect

Two sides to self-protection: self-improvement strivings and feedback from close relationships eliminate mnemic neglect
Two sides to self-protection: self-improvement strivings and feedback from close relationships eliminate mnemic neglect
People selectively forget feedback that threatens central self-conceptions, a phenomenon labeled mnemic neglect. Such forgetting serves to protect the self-system, but its rigid application may be associated with liabilities such as failing to learn about one's weaknesses. Two experiments tested the extent to which mnemic neglect is rigid or flexible. In Experiment 1, where self-improvement strivings were primed, mnemic neglect was absent: threatening and non-threatening feedback was recalled equally. In Experiment 2, participants received feedback either from a stranger or a close relationship. Participants recalled poorly threatening stranger feedback but recalled well threatening close-relationship feedback.

Self-protection is flexible and strategic. Individuals recall well self-threatening feedback when they are concerned with self-improvement and when the feedback has ramifications for long-term relationships.
close relationship, mnemic, self-enhancement, self-improvement, self-protection
1529-8868
233-250
Green, Jeffrey D.
4dc0383d-8061-41f3-a5d3-e12be4e54075
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Pinter, Brad
4404cd89-0aa3-4bf5-b745-d4aaae7eab8c
Van Tongeren, Daryl R.
32ae6e02-9358-489f-89a8-546bcd1128d1
Green, Jeffrey D.
4dc0383d-8061-41f3-a5d3-e12be4e54075
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Pinter, Brad
4404cd89-0aa3-4bf5-b745-d4aaae7eab8c
Van Tongeren, Daryl R.
32ae6e02-9358-489f-89a8-546bcd1128d1

Green, Jeffrey D., Sedikides, Constantine, Pinter, Brad and Van Tongeren, Daryl R. (2009) Two sides to self-protection: self-improvement strivings and feedback from close relationships eliminate mnemic neglect Self and Identity, 8, (2-3), pp. 233-250.

Record type: Article

Abstract

People selectively forget feedback that threatens central self-conceptions, a phenomenon labeled mnemic neglect. Such forgetting serves to protect the self-system, but its rigid application may be associated with liabilities such as failing to learn about one's weaknesses. Two experiments tested the extent to which mnemic neglect is rigid or flexible. In Experiment 1, where self-improvement strivings were primed, mnemic neglect was absent: threatening and non-threatening feedback was recalled equally. In Experiment 2, participants received feedback either from a stranger or a close relationship. Participants recalled poorly threatening stranger feedback but recalled well threatening close-relationship feedback.

Self-protection is flexible and strategic. Individuals recall well self-threatening feedback when they are concerned with self-improvement and when the feedback has ramifications for long-term relationships.

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More information

Published date: April 2009
Keywords: close relationship, mnemic, self-enhancement, self-improvement, self-protection

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 66019
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/66019
ISSN: 1529-8868
PURE UUID: e8ee4e61-f821-4431-8964-c8c069dd20d1

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Date deposited: 26 Mar 2010
Last modified: 30 Aug 2017 18:41

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Contributors

Author: Jeffrey D. Green
Author: Brad Pinter
Author: Daryl R. Van Tongeren

University divisions

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