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reaction formation

[ ree-ak-shuhn fawr-mey-shuhn ]

noun

, Psychoanalysis, Psychology.
  1. a defense mechanism in which a repressed impulse is expressed through behavior that is in direct opposition:

    An inferiority complex manifesting as narcissistic personalty disorder is a classic reaction formation.



reaction formation

noun

  1. psychoanal a defence mechanism by which a person at a conscious level condemns a repressed wish: thus, a latent homosexual may denounce homosexuality


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Word History and Origins

Origin of reaction formation1

First recorded in 1905–10
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Example Sentences

Now we know from neuropsychology that burning ambition in later years represents a reaction formation to infantile bed wetting.

But in general it is necessary to separate from each other sublimation and reaction formation as two diverse processes.

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reaction enginereaction time