Module 13 defense mechanism

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Information about Module 13 defense mechanism

Published on March 9, 2014

Author: dmteneza


DEFENSE MECHANISM PROF. ARNEL A. DIEGO MA.Ed. Director, Social Sciences Department


Levels of Consciousness    Conscious: thoughts or motives that a person is currently aware of or is remembering Preconscious: thoughts or motives that one can become aware of easily Unconscious: thoughts or motives that lie beyond a person's normal awareness but that can be made available through psychoanalysis.

Freudian Theory Structures of Personality  Id  Operates according to the “pleasure principle”  Ego  Operates according to the “reality” principle  Superego  Contains values and ideals

Structure of personality ID- Pleasure principle Driven purely by needs, wants and desires, without regard for consequences (I want it and I want it now)

EGO - Reality principle This follows what is realistic and includes all the gray areas of decision making, or the justifications for behavior

Superego – Morality Strict adherence to the rules that govern society, everything is either black or white, right or wrong

Table 12.2 Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development


ANXIETY  Unpleasant inner state that people seek to avoid. Anxiety acts as a signal to the ego that things are not going right.  Freud identified three types of anxiety:  Neurotic anxiety is the unconscious worry that we will lose control of the id's urges, resulting in punishment for inappropriate behavior.  Reality anxiety is fear of real-world events. The cause of this anxiety is usually easily identified. For example, a person might fear receiving a dog bite when they are near a menacing dog. The most common way of reducing this anxiety is to avoid the threatening object.  Moral anxiety involves a fear of violating our own moral principles.

Fig. 15.3 Frustration and common reactions to it.

 Reactions to frustration can be both positive and negative.  Positive reactions are realistic and reasonable ones.  Negative reactions are less realistic and reasonable, those are defensive reactions.


DEFENSE MECHANISM  Refer to unconscious mental processes that protect the conscious person from developing anxiety  The defense mechanisms are ways and actions which people use in order to hide their incapability and failure.

REPRESSION  Anxiety-evoking thoughts are pushed into the unconscious.  “Repressed memories” are memories that have been unconsciously blocked from access or view.  Example: A woman is unable to recall that she was raped

REGRESSION  A reversion to immature patterns of behavior.  Is the reversion to an earlier stage of development in the face of unacceptable thoughts or impulses.

 Example: An adolescent who is overwhelmed with fear, anger and growing sexual impulses might become clingy and start exhibiting earlier childhood behaviors such as bedwetting.  A boss has a temper tantrum when an employee makes a mistake Note: An adult may regress when under a great deal of stress, refusing to leave their bed and engage in normal, everyday activities.

DISPLACEMENT  Substituting a less threatening object for the original object of impulse.  Involves taking out our frustrations, feelings and impulses on people or objects that are less threatening.  Example: After parental scolding, a young girl takes her anger out on her little brother

DENIAL  The best known defense mechanisms.  Denial is an outright refusal to admit or recognize that something has occurred or is currently occurring.  Example: Drug addicts or alcoholics often deny that they have a problem or an employee deny that the wages he received is not fair

PROJECTION  Person attributes their own unacceptable impulses to others.  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.

RATIONALIZATION  Involves explaining an unacceptable behavior or feeling in a rational or logical manner, avoiding the true reasons for the behavior.  Example: Ian goes out of drinking the night before a big test rationalize his behavior by saying “the test isn't all that important”

SUBLIMATION  Channeling of unacceptable impulses, thoughts and emotions into more acceptable ones.  Example: For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kick-boxing as a means of venting frustration or a person with strong feeling of aggression becomes a soldier

REACTION FORMATION  Behaving in a way that is exactly the opposite of one’s own true feelings.  Example: a woman who is very angry with her boss and would like to quit her job may instead be overly kind and generous toward her boss and express a desire to keep working there forever.

COMPENSATION  Process of psychologically counterbalancing perceived weaknesses by emphasizing strength in other areas.  For instance, when a person says, “I may not know how to cook, but I can sure do the dishes!,”

INTELLECTUALIZATION  Intellectualization is the overemphasis on thinking when confronted with an unacceptable impulse, situation or behavior without employing any emotions.  Example: a person who has just been given a terminal medical diagnosis, instead of expressing their sadness and grief, focuses instead on the details of all possible fruitless medical procedures.

IDENTIFICATION  Bolstering self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with some person or group  Example: An insecure young man joins a fraternity to boost his self-esteem

GROUP ACTIVITY  Form a group with six members only…  Create a scenario that shows the uses of different defense mechanism (preparation time: 10 minutes).  Act / present it on class (3 – 5 minutes only).

CRITERIA  Content = 40pts  Organization = 25pts  Creativity / Acting Skills = 30pts  Audience Impact = 5pts

REFERENCES Feldman, Robert S. (2008). Understanding Psychology (5th edition). Mc Graw Hill International Gaerlan, Josefina, Limpingco Delia & Tria Geraldine. General Psychology (5th edition). Ken Incorporated

THANK YOU Therefore I say to you what ever things you asked, when you pray believed that you received them and YOU WILL HAVE THEM.. MARK 11:24

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