Memory for in-group and out-group information in a minimal group context: The self as an informational base

Richard H. Gramzow, Constantine Sedikides, Lowell Gaertner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors argue that persons derive in-group expectancies from self-knowledge. This implies that perceivers process information about novel in-groups on the basis of the self-congruency of this information and not simply its valence. In Experiment 1. participants recalled more negative self-discrepant behaviors about an in-group than about an cut-group. Experiment 2 replicated this effect under low cognitive load but not under high load. Experiment 3 replicated the effect using an idiographic procedure. These findings suggest that perceivers engage in elaborative inconsistency processing when they encounter negative self-discrepant information about an in-group but not when they encounter negative self-congruent information. Participants were also more likely to attribute self-congruent information to the in-group than to the out-group, regardless of information valence. Implications for models of social memory and self-categorization theory are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-205
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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