Chapter 12: Defense Mechanisms: p482

Focus Questions
What are defense mechanisms?
Defense mechanisms are the unconscious psychological processes that people develop to relieve anxiety.

What are the most common defense mechanisms?
Among questionable forms of coping are the defense mechanism described by Freud. These are unconscious psychological processes, mental of symbolic, developed to relieve anxiety. They include the following:
MOST COMMON DEFENSE MECHANISIMS
Repression
(The Primary Mechanism)

The person tries to banish offending desires from conscious thought to the point of being totally unaware of the original desires. (Keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious) The person attempts to deal with a stressful situation by claiming that the stressor was of minimal importance and may even have had beneficial effects. (Creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behavior) The person unconsciously transforms conflict and anxiety into different but related desire that is more acceptable to society and to him/her self. The person attempts to take on the virtues of an admired person. (Bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group) The person pretends to possess desires that are the opposite if the desires that are causing conflict and anxiety. (Behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one’s true feelings) The person attributes to others the desires or thoughts that have caused personal conflict. (attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, or motives to another) The person attempts to dispel anxiety by refusing altogether to accept reality. The person tries to escape the discomfort of unwanted ideas or feelings by transferring them onto another person. (diverting emotional feelings, usually anger, from their original source to a substitute target) The person retreats toward behaviors that usually characterize a lower level of maturity. ( a reversion to immature patterns of behavior) Identifying with some idea or object so deeply that it becomes a part of that person.

Rationalization

Sublimation Identification Reaction Formation Projection Denial Displacement
Substitution Sublimination

Regression

Introjection

One example often used is when a child envelops representational images of his absent parents into himself, simultaneously fusing them with his own personality. Encountering failure or frustration in some sphere of activity, one overemphasizes another. The term is also applied to the process of over-correcting for a handicap or limitation. Examples: (1) a physically unattractive adolescent becomes an expert dancer. (2) a youth with residual muscle damage from poliomyelitis becomes an athlete. (3) Demosthenes. (isolation). Concentrating on the intellectual components of the situations as to distance oneself from the anxiety provoking emotions associated with these situations.

Compensation
Direct Compensation Overcompensation

Intellectualizatio n

Intellectualization is a defense mechanism where reasoning is used to block confrontation with an unconscious conflict and its associated emotional stress. It involves removing one's self, emotionally, from a stressful event. Intellectualization is often accomplished through rationalization; rather than accepting reality, one may explain it away to remove one's self. Fixation in human psychology refers to the state where an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another human, animal or inanimate object

Fixation

Crazy Joe’s Psych 101 Notes II

Prof. T.R. Tharney: PSY101 Chapter 12: pp. 1

Examples: (1) a physically unattractive adolescent becomes an expert dancer. (diverting emotional feelings. one overemphasizes another.R. by refusing altogether to accept reality. Tharney: PSY101 Chapter 12: pp. An adult has a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his way. Intellectualization :( isolation). and Sublimination): Rationalization: The person attempts to Regression: The person retreats toward behaviors that usually characterize a lower level of maturity. rather than accepting reality. from a stressful event. Displacement (Substitution The person tries to escape the discomfort of unwanted ideas or feelings by transferring them onto another person. feelings. (attributing one’s own thoughts. or motives to another) Ex. (3) Demosthenes. transforms conflict and anxiety into different but related desire that is more acceptable to society and to him/her self.Common Defense Mechanisms (12 of 25) Repression: (The Primary Mechanism): The person tries to banish offending desires from conscious thought to the point of being totally unaware of the original desires. Identification: The person attempts to take Reaction Formation: The person pretends or frustration in some sphere of activity. (Bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group) Ex. The term is also applied to the process of over-correcting for a handicap or limitation. (Creating false but plausible excuses to justify unacceptable behavior) Ex. Overcompensation): Encountering failure Introjection: Identifying with some idea or Sublimation: The person unconsciously Compensation (Direct Compensation. Intellectualization is often accomplished through rationalization. the desires or thoughts that have caused personal conflict. (2) a youth with residual muscle damage from poliomyelitis becomes an athlete. Intellectualization is a defense mechanism where reasoning is used to block confrontation with an unconscious conflict and its associated emotional stress. A person who does not want to recognize his/her inadequate tennis skills blames all bad shots on a flawed racquet. A parent who unconsciously resents a child spoils the child with outlandish gifts. (Behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one’s true feelings) Ex. T. A traumatized soldier has no recollection of the details of a close brush with death. ( a reversion to immature patterns of behavior) Ex. Concentrating on the intellectual components of the situations as to distance oneself from the anxiety provoking emotions associated with these situations. object so deeply that it becomes a part of that person. usually anger. on the virtues of an admired person. a student takes her anger out on her little brother. Projection: The person attributes to others Denial: The person attempts to dispel anxiety Fixation: in human psychology refers to the state where an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another human. from their original source to a substitute target) Ex. deal with a stressful situation by claiming that the stressor was of minimal importance and may even have had beneficial effects. It involves removing one's self. An insecure young man joins a fraternity to boost his self-esteem. one may explain it away to remove one's self. simultaneously fusing them with his own personality. animal or inanimate object. After failing a important exam. a student who cheats on an exam may rationalize the action with the claim that everybody cheats. emotionally. Crazy Joe’s Psych 101 Notes II Prof. 2 . (Keeping distressing thoughts and feelings buried in the unconscious) Ex. One example often used is when a child envelops representational images of his absent parents into himself. to possess desires that are the opposite if the desires that are causing conflict and anxiety. which makes cheating easier to accept.

Linda fears that the dog may try to bite her. She stops going to school. Jessica's behavior is an example of which defense mechanism? a) Denial b) Avoidance c) Sublimation d) Sublimation 10) Correct while out on her morning jog. When he realizes that he is unable to fulfill his dream. Which defense mechanism explains Clare's reaction? a) Displacement b) Denial c) Rationalization d) Regression 4) Correct Mary has an argument with her boss. When she is fired. When Bill is confronted by his loved ones. he claims that his drinking is not problematic. . and the latest experimental research. Linda encounters a growling dog. journal articles. Jess's actions are an example of which type of defense mechanism? a) Sublimation b) Projection c) Displacement d) Repression 2) Correct Bill's friends and family believe that he has a drinking problem. rarely completes assigned tasks. reading books. and declines most social engagements to ensure that she does not have to speak in public. he instead becomes a high school basketball coach. she claims it was due to her co-worker badmouthing her instead of blaming it on her own poor work performance. Which defense mechanism is Mary displaying? a) Rationalization b) Denial c) Reaction Formation d) Displacement 5) Correct Jessica dislikes public speaking. but remains calm while at work. and is regularly late for work. According to Freud. this type of anxiety is: a) Moral Anxiety b) Reality Anxiety c) Neurotic Anxiety d) Libidinal Anxiety d) Passive-aggression 6) Wrong Jerry's dream is to be a professional basketball player. Greg's response to his diagnosis is what type of defense mechanism? a) Intellectualization b) Regression c) Sublimation Jerry's experience is an example of which type of defense mechanism? a) Acting out b) Avoidance c) Compensation d) Aim inhibition 7) Wrong Jess often experiences intense feelings of anger and frustration. he enrolls in a kickboxing class as an outlet for his emotions.Defense Mechanisms: Study Questions 1) Correct Greg learns that he has cancer. she yells at her spouse and children. changes jobs. In order to cope with these feeling. What type of defense mechanism is Bill's response? a) Repression b) Rationalization c) Denial d) Repression 8) Wrong who described ten different defense mechanisms used by the ego to defend against anxiety? a) Carl Rogers b) Sigmund Freud c) Erik Erikson d) Displacement 3) Correct Which defense mechanism did Freud believe to be a sign of maturity? a) Repression b) Displacement c) Sublimation d) Anna Freud 9) Wrong Clare complains about her job duties at work. He begins to learn everything he can about the illness. When she gets home that evening.

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