Selective memory and the persistance of paradoxical self-esteem

R. W. Tafarodi, J. Tam, Alan Berkeley Milne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Previous research suggests that paradoxical self-esteem (contrasting levels of self-liking and self-competence) is associated with selective memory for self-relevant information. The form and function of this bias was examined here. College students classified as paradoxical or nonparadoxical viewed a series of trait adjectives. Recognition memory for the words was later tested. Results revealed that heightened selectivity in paradoxicals was limited to words conveying low social worth. Those paradoxically low in self-liking showed distinctively good memory and those paradoxically high in self-liking showed distinctively bad memory for these words. The claim that memory bias contributes to the persistence of paradoxical self-esteem also was tested. As expected, the self-liking of paradoxicals with the strongest memory bias showed the least shift toward self-competence 4 months later.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1179-1189
    Number of pages10
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    Volume27
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

    Keywords

    • RECOGNITION MEMORY
    • INDIVIDUALISM-COLLECTIVISM
    • INITIAL VALIDATION
    • COMPETENCE
    • BEHAVIOR
    • INFORMATION
    • DIMENSIONS
    • POSITIVITY
    • JUDGMENT
    • CLARITY

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