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Ego defense mechanisms

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Ego and defense mechanism
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Ego defense mechanisms

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Just a simple presentation to understand some few defense mechanisms in Psychology. I hope you find it useful. Give some hearts if you like and you may comment if you wish to have a copy. Thank you. :)

Just a simple presentation to understand some few defense mechanisms in Psychology. I hope you find it useful. Give some hearts if you like and you may comment if you wish to have a copy. Thank you. :)

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Ego defense mechanisms

  1. 1. Ego Defense Mechanisms MARY ANNE PORTUGUEZ MP-IP-1
  2. 2. Ego Defense Mechanism Definition • The utilization of psychic energy arising from the id in order to protect the ego . • Strategies the ego uses to defend itself against the anxiety provoked by conflicts of everyday life. Defense mechanisms involve denials or distortions of reality. • It is used by the ego to resolve intrapsychic conflict. • It is adopted when direct expression of the id impulse is unacceptable by the superego or dangerous in the real world.
  3. 3. Characteristics of Defense Mechanism (1) They are denials or distortions of reality— necessary ones, but distortions nonetheless (2) They operate unconsciously. We are unaware of them, which means that on the conscious level we hold distorted or unreal images of our world and ourselves.
  4. 4. LIST OF SOME EGO DEFENSE MECHANISMS Divided into three parts: • Primitive Defense Mechanisms (Developed in infancy) • Less Primitive (Neurotic) • Mature Defenses (Developed later in life)
  5. 5. Primitive Defense Mechanisms (Developed in infancy) • Denial It is a primitive defense mechanism in which an individual does not acknowledge some painful or anxiety-provoking aspect of reality or the self. Ex. A person may deny that smoking is contributing to his or her health problems despite supporting evidences by physicians. • Regression Return to earlier levels of development; Moving backwards; It is a defense mechanism that attempts to return to earlier functioning to avoid tension at current level. Ex. A completely weaned child may regress to demanding a bottle or nipple when a baby brother or sister is born. • Identification It is a process of borrowing or merging one’s identity with that of someone else. Ex. The abused child identifies himself with an abuser.
  6. 6. Primitive Defense Mechanisms (Developed in infancy) • Acting Out Carrying into action repressed impulses, which are brought to a conscious level in the course of analysis. Often the manifest behavior of a symbolic or an earlier behavior pattern. Ex. Transference is a symbolic acting out of his earlier Oedipal attachment for the parent, tantrums. • Dissociation Drastically modifies personal identity or character to avoid emotional distress. Ex. DID, drug highs, some state in amnesia. • Projection The person’s own unacceptable impulse is instead thought to belong to someone else. Ex. A man who is tempted to steal but whose strong ethical sense (superego) will not allow him to even think stealing may project his unacceptable impulse onto another person.
  7. 7. Less Primitive (Neurotic) • Repression The forceful ejection from consciousness of impulses, memories, or experiences that are painful or shameful and generate a high level of anxiety; Also occurs when arise through the necessity of ridding the consciousness of extremely painful experiences. Ex. Removing the painful experience of sexual assault. • Displacement Distorts the object of the drive. It is less primitive than projection because the impulse is correctly seen as belonging to the individual; only the object is distorted. Ex. A child who is angry may not consciously aware of his anger toward his father because of fear of retaliation and guilt. The aggressive impulse, then, may be disguised by directing it to his brother.
  8. 8. Less Primitive (Neurotic) • Intellectualization Avoiding affective expression, experience, relationship. Attends to external reality to avoid feelings, and details to avoid whole. It is a defense mechanism that respond to a problem in purely intellectual terms. Ex. Intellectually convincing ourselves that we didn’t want what we can’t have, a person who overeats may give a reason: “I need more vitamins due to stress.” • Isolation Thoughts related to some unpleasant occurrence are dissociated from other thinking and thus do not come to mind. In addition, emotions that would ordinarily be connected with the thoughts are gone. Ex. A person who has lost a loved one through death may isolate the experience, no thinking of the loved one to avoid the grief.
  9. 9. Less Primitive (Neurotic) • Rationalization Giving plausible, but false, reasons for an action to disguise the true motives. Ex. A parent might rationalize spanking a child by saying it will teach the child to be more obedient, though the true motives may be the parent resents the child. • Reaction Formation An unacceptable impulse is repressed and its opposite is developed in exaggerated form. Ex. A woman who deeply resented her mother but shows love.
  10. 10. Mature Defenses (Developed later in Life) • Sublimation The most desirable and healthy way of dealing with unacceptable impulses. It occurs when an individual finds a socially acceptable aim and object for the expression of an unacceptable impulse. Ex. It occurs when a soldier transform his aggression by protecting the country. • Suppression A conscious inhibition of impulses or ideas those are incompatible with the individual’s evaluation of himself according to his ego ideal. Ex. Choosing not to think of the bad events to avoid distress
  11. 11. Mature Defenses (Developed later in Life) • Humor Permits overt expression of feelings and thoughts without personal discomfort or immobilization and does not produce unpleasant effects on others. Ex. Making jokes about the upcoming exam. • Altruism Experiences vicarious pleasure by serving others constructively and instinctually. Guilty feelings relieved by unsolicited generosity toward others. Ex. A syndicate making donations to charity.
  12. 12. ITS IMPORTANCE Anxiety is a signal that impending danger, a threat to the ego, must be counteracted or avoided. The ego must reduce the conflict between the demands of the id and the strictures of society or the superego. According to Freud, this conflict is ever present because the instincts are always pressing for satisfaction, and the taboos of society are always working to limit such satisfaction. Freud believed that the defenses must, to some extent, always be in operation. Just as all behaviors are motivated by instincts, so all behavior is defensive in the sense of defending against anxiety. The intensity of the battle within the personality may fluctuate, but it never ceases.
  13. 13. REFERENCES • Chaplin, J.P. (1986). Dictionary of psychology. Bantam Dell: Canada. • Schultz, D. & Schultz, S. (2005). Theories of personality. Wadsworth: United States of America. • Feist, G. & Feist G. (2004). Theories of personality. McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.: USA. • http://www.sba.pdx.edu/faculty/mblake/448/DefensesChart.pdf

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