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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the biological concept, see Biological defense. Important figures. Important works.

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Defense Mechanisms

You can help by adding to it. August Psychology Second Edition. Retrieved on 05 October Archived from the original on February 4, Retrieved February Arch Suicide Res. Psychological defense: Contemporary theory and research. Handbook of personality psychology. Boston: Academic Press. New York, Springer-Verlag. XIX, translated by Arthur C.


Johnston, p. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, J Am Psychoanal Assoc. Adaptation to life.

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Boston: Little, Brown. A structural theory of ego defences and emotions. Izard Ed. New York: Plenum Press. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 4th ed. Washington, DC: Author. Protecting the Self. The Guilford Press. An empirically validated hierarchy of defence mechanisms. Archives of General Psychiatry, 73, — Retrieved on December 12, Fourth Canadian Edition ed.

Toronto, Ont. American Psychiatric Publishing. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. Triumphs of experience: the men of the Harvard Grant Study. Defence mechanisms. Delusional projection Denial Distortion Extreme projection Splitting. Compartmentalization Defensive pessimism Exaggeration Minimisation Postponement of affect. Narcissistic defences Censorship psychoanalysis. Categories : Defence mechanisms Psychoanalytic terminology Psychological adjustment.

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By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If described shortly, repression means keeping frustrating, threatening, or depressive thoughts and feelings in the unconsciousness. However, sooner or later, these memories and feelings start to resurface; this is inevitable—one cannot keep these memories repressed forever. The trick here is that these memories can sometimes be partially wrong or totally false, which makes them unreliable. Therefore, repression is a defense mechanism that comes at a high cost.

Rationalization is another common defense mechanism; a person using it distorts perceived facts in such a way that they appear less threatening. For example, someone struggling with anxiety could try to rationalize it by explaining it with fatigue, stress, the lack of sleep, and so on. This is an example of conscious rationalization, though; for many people, this defense mechanism becomes automatic, so they start rationalizing everything, unconsciously making excuses on every occasion, believing their own lies Simply Psychology.

Yet another defense mechanism slightly resembles repression: denial. It is a rather simple mechanism that develops in early childhood as one of the possible reactions to unpleasant events. Little children sometimes close their eyes with their palms when something unpleasant is going on around them, and in the context of psychology, denial is rather similar to such behavior. The most common example of denial is a person suffering from substance abuse, refusing to admit that he or she has an addiction problem PsychCentral.

A rather tricky mechanism is projection; in its basis lies a misattribution, when a person possessing unwanted feelings, desires, or thoughts.

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Instead of admitting and accepting them, he or she projects them on another person who might not have them. The simplest example is a married couple having an argument, when a husband blames his wife of not listening to him, when in fact it is he who does not want to listen to what his wife has to say.

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Rather often, projection occurs when one is not able or ready to accept their own motivations and emotions Listverse. Another important defense mechanism is regression.

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When frightened or stressed, a person may suddenly start behaving in a childish manner: for example, start giggling uncontrollably when getting acquainted with a person of the opposite sex, or become capricious when not being able to get something desired. In other words, regression means returning to more primitive or childish forms of behavior when facing difficult situations Simply Psychology.

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