reaction formation


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to reaction formation: Defense mechanisms

reaction formation

n.
A psychological defense mechanism by which a repressed impulse is expressed in an opposite or contrasting behavior.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

reaction formation

n
(Psychoanalysis) psychoanal a defence mechanism by which a person at a conscious level condemns a repressed wish: thus, a latent homosexual may denounce homosexuality
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.reaction formation - (psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously develops attitudes and behavior that are the opposite of unacceptable repressed desires and impulses and serve to conceal them; "his strict morality is just a reaction formation to hide his sexual drive"
psychiatry, psychological medicine, psychopathology - the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
defence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense mechanism, defense reaction, defense - (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is like a reaction formation which can send you further into more ignorance,' he said.
Defenses such as negation, denial, reaction formation, and repression are subsumed under this category.
The authors contrast scaremongering CNN news and photography with the less alarmist New York Times as prime agents of public awareness and reaction formation. Author dicta about zero tolerance, criminalization of victimizes, and retribution by society at large conclude the contents on quibbles rather than answers.