Dancing with mnemic neglect : new insights into the paradigm
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Self-protection motivation is seen as a cause of the mnemic neglect phenomenon, the reduced recall for self-threatening information as compared to other-referent negative information. The phenomenon is well established, but there are still many areas that would benefit from further exploration. For example, while several moderators of the mnemic neglect phenomenon have been found, regulatory focus has not yet been considered. Furthermore, the assumed cognitive processes that underlie the mnemic neglect phenomenon are generally seen as occurring because of processes occurring during the encoding phase of information processing. However, it is possible that recall processes that occur after information storage may also contribute to mnemic neglect. This possibility has not yet been explored. Finally, in past research the traits and behaviors used for the mnemic neglect paradigm have all been located on the morality trait dimension. The domain of competence, a second major dimension of human traits, has not been explored in the context of the mnemic neglect paradigm. The research in this dissertation therefore pursues three goals: (1) it attempts to establish regulatory focus as a moderator of mnemic neglect, (2) it explores whether the processes that contribute to mnemic neglect extend beyond encoding processes and extend into recall processes, and (3) it extends the paradigm from traits and behaviors in the morality domain to traits and behaviors in the competence domain. Implications of these results for the self, memory, and social cognition are discussed.