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Jeanette Marie M. Rios Feb 10, 2015

I Bio 7 TTH 2:30 4:00pm Class Number: 35

Ego Defense Mechanisms:

1 Denial Refusal to admit that something unpleasant is happening or that a taboo

emotion is being experienced. Example: 16 year old tom was using drugs, but his

parents didnt believe this principal when he told them about the problem.

2 Repression blocking a threatening memory from consciousness. Example: Abused

victims sometimes dont recall events from their childhood.

3 Regression Returning to more primitive levels of behavior. Example: After Sue

Anns baby brother was born, she began to suck her thumb.

4 Reaction formation Transforming anxiety producing thoughts into their opposites

in consciousness. Example: Lucy dresses provocatively although she fears that she is


5 Rationalization Justifying ones failures with socially acceptable reasons instead of

the real reasons. Example: After Carla rejected him, Phil told his friends he didnt think

she was really attractive.

6 Displacement Discharging pent up feelings on objects less dangerous than those

that initially aroused the emotion. Example: a woman is abandoned by her fianc; she

quickly finds another man about whom she develops the same feelings;
7 Acting Out is performing an extreme behavior in order to express thoughts or feelings

the person feels incapable of otherwise expressing. Example: A person who acts out

may throw a book at the person, or punch a hole through a wall.

8 Projection is the misattribution of a persons undesired thoughts onto another person

who does not have those thoughts. Example: A spouse may be angry at their significant

other for not listening, when in fact it is the angry spouse who does not listen.

9 Intellectualization is the overemphasis on thinking when confronted with an

unacceptable impulse to help mediate and place the thoughts into an emotional, human

context. Example: For instance, a person who has just been given a terminal medical

diagnosis, instead of expressing their sadness, focuses instead on the details of all

possible fruitless medical procedures.

10 Undoing is the attempt to take back an unconscious behavior or thought that is

unacceptable or hurtful. Example: For instance, after realizing you just insulted your

significant other unintentionally, you might spend the next hour praising their charm and


11 Sublimation is simply the channeling of unacceptable impulses, thoughts and

emotions into more acceptable ones. Example: For example, imagining ones ultimate

career goals can be helpful when one experiences temporary setbacks in academic

achievement. Both can help a person look at a situation in a different way, or focus on

aspects of the situation not previously explored.

12 Compensation is a process of psychologically counterbalancing perceived

weaknesses by emphasizing strength in other arenas. Example: a physically

unattractive adolescent becomes an expert dancer.

13 Suppression The conscious analog of repression or intentional exclusion of

material from consciousness. Example : a young man at work finds that he is letting

thoughts about a date that evening interfere with his duties; he decides not to think

about plans for the evening until he leaves work.

14 Symbolization: An object that represents a complex group of objects that stand for a

repressed desire. Example: a soldier, when asked why he volunteered, he said, "To

defend the flag.

15 Conversion: Conflicts are presented by physical symptoms involving portions of the

body innervated by nerves. Example: a man's arm becomes paralyzed after impulses to

strike another.

16 Isolation - The splitting-off of the emotional components from a thought. Example: a

medical student dissects a cadaver without being disturbed by thoughts of death.


- Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory. Retrieved from
- Grohol, J. (2007). 15 Common Defense Mechanisms. Psych Central. Retrieved on

February 8, 2015, from

- Defense Mechanisms. Retrieved from