Defense mechanisms

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  1. Defense mechanisms
    ego's protective method of reducing anxiety by distorting reality.
  2. Repression
    -preventing painful or unacceptable thougths from entering consciousness

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    • - forgetting the details of your parent's painful death
  3. Sublimation
    -redirecting unmet desires or unacceptable impulses into acceptable activities

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    • rechanneling sexual desires into school, work, art, sports, or hobbies that are constructive
  4. Denial
    protecting oneself from an unpleasent reality by refusing to perceive it

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    • alcoholics refusing to admit their addiction
  5. Rationalization
    substituting socially acceptable reasons for unacceptable ones

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    • Justifying cheating on an exam by saying "everyone does it"
  6. Intellectualizaton
    ignoring the emotional aspects of a painful experience by focusing on abstract thoughts, words, or ideas.


    emotionless discussion of your divorce while ignoring underlying pain
  7. Projection
    transferring unacceptable thoughts, motives, or impulses to others

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    • becoming unreasonable jealous of your mate while denying your own attraction to others
  8. Reaction Formation
    refusing to acknowledge unacceptbale urges, thoughts, or feelings by exaggerating the opposite state

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    • promoting a petition against adult bookstores even though you are secretly fascinated by pornography
  9. Regression
    responding to a threatening situation in a way appropriate to an earlier age or level of development

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    • throwing a temper tantrum when a friends doesnt want to do what youd like
  10. Displacement
    redirecting impulses toward a less threatening person or object


    yelling at a coworker after being criticized by your boss

Card Set Information

Defense mechanisms
2011-11-30 01:31:31

psych- def mech
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