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Lee's Wikipedia Page
I won't bore you with my personal details, as everything you need to know is on the right over there!
Aside from that, I'm part of the Self and Identity Task Force here on Wikipedia and my job will be creating a sub-article on the topic of Mnemic Neglect.
The current state of this article can be found below, at least until it's good/accurate/useful enough to venture out on its own:
Mnemic neglect (MN) is a term used in social psychology to describe a pattern of selective forgetting, in which people tend to be poorer at recalling information that is negative or inconsistent with their self-concept, while being unimpaired at recalling information that is positive or consistent with their self-concept (Sedikides & Green, 2003).
It is proposed that MN arises as a result of a number of underlying motives, such as self-enhancement - the pattern of forgetting associated with MN only relates to information about the individual self. Empirical studies have demonstrated that when participants are asked to recall items of positive and negative information from a list, MN only occurred if the information was directed at the individual – recall for positive and negative items was unaffected if it was about another person (Sedikides & Green, 2000; Sedikides & Green, 2004). Self-esteem has also been implicated in MN, since a bias towards recall for positive information about the self was observed to be associated with higher self-liking (Tafarodi, Marshall & Milne, 2003).
The Mnemic Neglect Model
Originally called the Inconsistency-negativity Neglect model (Sedikides & Green, 2000), the later re-named Mnemic Neglect Model offers an explanation of how information about the self is processed in memory.
Basic tenets of the Mnemic Neglect Model:
- Individuals are motivated to maintain a positive self concept, thus are prone to neglecting to process information that is inconsistent with it
- Information that is inconsistent with, or negative about the self is more likely to be neglected than positive or consistent information
- Whether the information is about a central (more important) or peripheral (less important) aspect of the self modulates the effect of mnemic neglect; negative/inconsistent information is more likely to be neglected when it refers to a central aspect of the self rather than a peripheral one
Origins of mnemic neglect
MN has been linked to existing accounts of memory, and it is theorised that the bias towards forgetting negative/inconsistent feedback is apparent at a number of stages in the memory process.
It may arise at the encoding stage due to a bias in which positive/consistent information is more likely to be attended to, and negative/consistent information is selectively avoided, thus is less likely to be encoded (Baumeister and Caims, 1982; Sedikides & Green, 2000; Sedikides & Gregg, 2003). See also: Selective attention.
MN could also be evident at the retrieval stage, in which positive/consistent information is more readily available than negative/inconsistent information, thus facilitating or impairing recall respectively. Numerous studies demonstrate that desirable memories are more frequently recalled than undesirable ones (REFs)
The retention stage has also been implicated, as it is shown that the affect associated with negative memories diminishes quicker (thus retained for less time) than that of positive memories (See: Fading Affect Bias; Walker, Skowronski & Thompson, 2003; Walker, Vogl & Thompson, 1997). This suggests a bias towards remembering positive information, which could also extend to memories pertaining to the self when considering MN.