Freudian Defense Mechanisms and Empirical Findings in Modern Social Psychology: Reaction Formation, Projection, Displacement, Undoing, Isolation, Sublimation, and Denial

  title={Freudian Defense Mechanisms and Empirical Findings in Modern Social Psychology: Reaction Formation, Projection, Displacement, Undoing, Isolation, Sublimation, and Denial},
  author={Roy F. Baumeister and Karen Dale and Kristin L. Sommer},
  journal={Journal of Personality},
Recent studies in social psychology are reviewed for evidence relevant to seven Freudian defense mechanisms. This work emphasizes normal populations, moderate rather than extreme forms of defense, and protection of self-esteem against threat. Reaction formation, isolation, and denial have been amply shown in studies, and they do seem to serve defensive functions. Undoing, in the sense of counterfactual thinking, is also well documented but does not serve to defend against the threat. Projection… 

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