Defence mechanisms

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  • Defence mechanisms
    • The role of these memories is to help the ego keep peace between the id and the superego
    • Repression
      • Where thoughts are kept in the unconscious and are not allowed to pass into the conscious mind
      • As if that thought had been forgotten
      • Motivated forgetting
      • E.g if a person witnesses a car crash but after the event cannot recall it
        • They do not deny that it happened they just simply cannot remember it
    • Denial
      • Where a person acts like the event has never happened
      • This protects them from unhappy and unwanted thoughts
    • Projection
      • Rather than accepting that you are feeling a certain thing yourself you act like it is another person that is feeling this way
      • E.g if you have cheated on someone you may accuse your parter of cheating
    • Displacement
      • Turning unacceptable thoughts or feelings into acceptable
      • E.g converting anger towards a friend or sibling into acceptable aggression whilst playing a sport
    • Regression
      • When, to cope with something stressful, a person reverts back to childhood behaviour
      • E.g throwing a tantrum or sucking your thumb when you are stressed
    • Evaluation
      • There is validity in the concept as we can see real life examples of them in everyday life
      • Defence mechanism theory has good applications as once told about defence mechanisms, people often feel better
        • E.g Anna O who had a phobia of drinking out of glasses due to once seeing a dog lick a glass. Once Freud told her about defence mechanisms she could recall the memory and was able to drink from a glass
      • Defence mechanisms are difficult to test scientifically
        • They are unmeasurable
      • They require interpretation
        • There may be subjectivity


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