Previous research has suggested that people have difficulties remembering information which is threatening to the self—an effect known as mnemic neglect. Three experiments are presented that examined mnemic neglect in dysphoria and whether dysphoric individuals show enhanced memory for self-threatening information. Pilot work determined that dysphoric participants rated central negative traits as more important than nondysphoric participants. In Experiment 1, dysphoric participants were found to have better memory for self-threatening information than nondysphoric participants. Enhanced recall of self-threatening memories was also found for unmodifiable (Experiment 2), and highly diagnostic (Experiment 3) self-threatening traits. The findings suggest that dysphoric participants show reversed mnemic neglect effects indicating enhanced access to negative information relating to the self.
- mnemic neglect
- reversed mnemic neglect