Defense Mechanisms for Psych

  1. Repression
    (Unconsciously) pushing an unpleasant memory into the unconscious mind.
  2. Suppression
    intentionally/consciously trying to forget an unpleasant experience or memory. Includes keeping yourself busy and creating diversions.
  3. Rationalization
    an attempt to substitute "good" reasons for our real reasons. Allows people to disguise from themselves the fact that they acted from motives that conflict with their professed standards.

    • sour grapes- belittling what you fail to achieve
    • sweet lemons-convincing yourself that you are just as well off without whatever you failed to achieve; being "glad" you lost or failed.
  4. Projection
    the unconscious attribution of your (negative) thoughts and feelings to another person or group.
  5. Displacement
    taking your emotions out on substitute people or objects; a redirection of emotion, in the absence of the object that would satisfy our instinctual urges. Substitute objects are rarely as satisfying as the original objects, but they are less threatening.
  6. Identification
    copying the behavior, beliefs, lifestyle, and other characteristics of somebody else.
  7. Fantasy
    creating a make-believe world (in preference to the actual world).
  8. Compensation
    making up for a personal lack or handicap by doing something else well; highlighting your assets.
  9. Overcompensation
    putting others down, ridiculing people, or acting superior in order to mask your own feelings of inferiority.
  10. Sublimation
    finding acceptable outlets for ID energy; the ability to sublimate our impulses makes possible the ideas, values, attitudes, and activity that characterize the civilized adult human being.
  11. Substiution
    finding unacceptable or illegal outlets for ID energy.
  12. Procrastination
    putting things off
  13. Withdrawal/Avoidance/Apathy
  14. Nomadism
    inability to stay in one place, in one job, with one relationship; incapable of commitment.
  15. Negativism
    disliking everything mentioned, every possible alternative. Excessive use of sarcasm. people using negativism are highly defensive.
  16. Denial
    refusal to accept the (painful) truth.
  17. Undoing
    trying to atone for bad behavior ... GUILT ... pretending something did not happen.
  18. Emotional Insulation
    not showing feelings; creating an emotional wall around yourself; keeping distance from others.
  19. Intellectualization
    dismissing anxiety by analyzing emotion issues intellectually and converting them to theory rather than action. (Also called isolation or dissociation.)
  20. Compartmentalization
    dividing your life into separate air-tight compartments to avoid facing the inconsistencies. Creating multiple "selves" to fit into opposing situations.
  21. Reaction-Formation
    behaving the opposite of how you really feel over a period of many years; living a lie.
Card Set
Defense Mechanisms for Psych
AP Psych Defense Mechanisms