Ignoring biased feedback: Membership in a stigmatized group as a moderator of mnemic neglect

Leonard S. Newman, Collette P. Eccleston, Masanori Oikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A personal history of being the target of biased negative evaluation may lead individuals to habitually divert attention from negative feedback when it is possible to do so. Two studies tested for the first time the hypothesis that people belonging to a stigmatized group (Black students on a predominantly White campus) will, relative to non-stigmatized people, be more likely to engage in mnemic neglect—that is, they will reveal a greater tendency to insulate themselves from the effects of negative self-relevant feedback by means of motivated forgetting. The results of Study 1 supported that hypothesis. In Study 2, priming the concept of egalitarianism reduced the tendency of Black participants to engage in higher levels of mnemic neglect, consistent with the idea that the higher observed levels of mnemic neglect among stigmatized individuals derives from expecting biased, discriminatory responses from other people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017


  • Psychological defense
  • self-concept
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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