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15 Cards in this Set

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DEFENSE MECHANISM

Compensation: covering up weaknesses by emphasizing a more desirable trait or by over- achievement in a more comfortable area.

example: a high school student too small to play football becomes the star long distance runner for the track team.
USE/PURPOSE

Allows a person to overcome weakness and achieve success.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Denial: an attempt to screen or ignore unacceptable realities by refusing to acknowledge them.

example: a woman, though told her father has metastatic cancer, continues to plan a family reunion 18 months in advance.
USE/PURPOSE

Temporarily isolates a person from the full impact of a traumatic situation.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Displacement: the transferring or discharging of emotional reactions from one object or person to another object or person.

example: a husband & wife are fighting, & the husband becomes so angry he hits a door instead of his wife.

A student gets a C on a paper she worked hard on & goes home & yells at her family.
USE/PURPOSE

Allows for feeling to be expressed through or to less dangerous objects or people.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Identification: an attempt to manage anxiety by imitating the behavior of someone feared or respected.

example: a student nurse imitates the nurturing behavior she observes one of her instructors using with clients.
USE/PURPOSE

Helps a person avoid self-devaluation.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Intellectualization: a mechanism by which an emotional response that normally would accompany an uncomfortable or painful incident is evaded by the use of rational explanations that remove from the incident any personal significance & feelings.

example: the pain over a parent's sudden death is reduced by saying, "He wouldn't have wanted to live disabled."
USE/PURPOSE

Protects the person from pain & traumatic events.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Introjection: a form of identification that allows for the acceptance of others' norms & values into oneself, even when contrary to one's previous assumptions.

example: a 7 yr old tells his little sister, " Don't talk to strangers." He has introjected this value from the instructions of parents & teachers.
USE/PURPOSE

Helps a person avoid social retaliation & punishment; particularly important for the child's development of superego.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Minimization: not acknowledging the significance of one's behavior.

example: a person says, " Don't believe everything my wife tells you. I wasn't so drunk I couldn't drive."
USE/PURPOSE

Allow a person to decrease responsibility of own behavior.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Projection: a process in which blame is attached to others or the environment for unacceptable desires, thoughts, shortcomings, & mistakes.

examples: a mother is told her child must repeat a grade in school, and she blames this on the teacher's poor instruction. A husband forgets to pay a bill & blames his wife for not giving it to him earlier.
USE/PURPOSE

Allows a person to deny the existence of shortcomings & mistakes; protects self-image.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Rationalization: justification of certain behaviors by faulty logic and ascription of motives that are socially acceptable but did not in fact inspire the behavior.

example: a mother spanks her toddler too hard & says it was all right because he couldn't feel it through the diapers anyway.
USE/PURPOSE

Helps a person cope with the inability to meet goals or certain standards.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Reaction formation: a mechanism that causes people to act exactly opposite to the way they feel.

example: an executive resents his bosses for calling in a consulting firm to make recommendations for change in his department but verbalizes complete support of the idea & is exceedingly polite & cooperative.
USE/PURPOSE

Aids in reinforcing repression by allowing feelings to be acted out in a more acceptable manner.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Regression: resorting to an earlier, more comfortable level of functioning that is characteristically less demanding & responsible.

example: An adult throws a temper tantrum when he does not get his own way. A critically ill client allows the nurse to bathe & feed him.
USE/PURPOSE

Allows a person to return to a point in development when nurturing & dependency were needed & accepted with comfort.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Repression: unconscious mechanism by which threatening thoughts, feelings, and desires are kept from becoming conscious; the repressed material is denied entry into consciousness.

example: a teenager, seeing his best friend killed in a car accident, becomes amnesic about the circumstances surrounding the accident.
USE/PURPOSE

Protects a person form a traumatic experience until he or she has the resources to cope.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Sublimation: displacement of energy associated with more primitive sexual thoughts or aggressive drive into socially acceptable activities.

examples: a person with excessive, primitive sexual drives invest psychic energy into a well-defined religious value system.
USE/PURPOSE

Protects a person from behaving in irrational, impulsive ways.
DEFENSE MECHANISM

Substitution: the replacement of a highly valued, unacceptable , or unavailable object by a less valuable, acceptable, or available object.

example: a woman wants to marry a man exactly like her dead father and settles for someone who looks a bit like him.
USE/PURPOSE

Helps a person achieve goals and minimizes frustration and disappointment.
DEFENSE MECHANISMS.

Undoing: An action or words designed to cancel some disapproved thoughts, impulses, or acts in which the person relieves guilt by making reparation.

example: a father spanks his child and the next day brings home a present for him. A teacher writes an examination that is far too easy, then constructs a grading curve that makes it difficult to earn a high grade.
USE/PURPOSE

Allows a person to appease guilty feelings and atone for mistakes.