Mnemic neglect is not an artifact of expectancy: The moderating role of defensive pessimism

Leonard S. Newman, Jeffrey A. Nibert, E. Samuel Winer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Research supporting the mnemic neglect model finds that people more easily recall positive than negative personality feedback, even when only asked to imagine that the feedback is real. The same bias is not found when people are asked to recall information about other people. Despite evidence that these findings reflect self-enhancement motives, more research is needed to rule out the possibility that they instead simply reflect expectancies. Results supported the mnemic neglect model, and revealed that expectancies predicted recall only for a subgroup of participants who did not demonstrate the self-other recall bias characteristic of mnemic neglect: defensive pessimists, who are more likely than other people to process social information by comparing it to their expectancies. These findings suggest that mnemic neglect is not an artifact of expectancies, and is not driven by other self-evaluation motives (such as self-verification or self-assessment).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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