Definition of Reaction formation
1. Noun. (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"
Generic synonyms: Defence, Defence Mechanism, Defence Reaction, Defense, Defense Mechanism, Defense Reaction
Medical Definition of Reaction formation
1. In psychoanalysis, a postulated defense mechanism in which attitudes and behaviours that are adopted are the opposites of that which the individual would ordinarily be expected to express and actually feel at an unconscious level. (05 Mar 2000)
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Lexicographical Neighbors of Reaction Formation
Literary usage of Reaction formation
Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:
1. The Psychoanalytic Method by Oskar Pfister (1917)
"In the reaction-formation, the life-force which belongs to a repressed, thus unconscious, instinctive activity, applies itself to a manifestation which ..."
2. Papers on Psycho-analysis by Ernest Jones (1913)
"... an occurrence known as excessive reaction-formation. Of this group the following are examples : an over-sensitiveness to the sight of suffering, ..."
3. Handbook of Severe Disability: A Text for Rehabilitation Counselors, Other edited by Walter C. Stolov, Michael R. Clowers (2000)
"Finally, he may behave in a manner opposite to his true feelings (reaction formation). He may hate the doctor but be congenial and cooperative. ..."
4. Psycho-analysis and the War Neuroses by Sándor Ferenczi (1921)
"... known as a reaction-formation. Thus in the case of primitive cruelty, a cruel child may develop into a person to whom the very idea of inflicting ..."
5. Proceedings of the American Pharmaceutical Association at the Annual Meeting by American Pharmaceutical Association, National Pharmaceutical Convention (1902)
"... and a diluted cupric salt solution is quite as sensitive as the guaiac reaction (formation of guaiac-blue) which takes place under the same conditions. ..."