denial

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denial,

in psychology, an ego defense mechanism that operates unconsciously to resolve emotional conflict, and to allay anxiety by refusing to perceive the more unpleasant aspects of external reality. In the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund FreudFreud, Sigmund
, 1856–1939, Austrian psychiatrist, founder of psychoanalysis. Born in Moravia, he lived most of his life in Vienna, receiving his medical degree from the Univ. of Vienna in 1881.

His medical career began with an apprenticeship (1885–86) under J.
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, denial is described as a primitive defense mechanismdefense mechanism,
in psychoanalysis, any of a variety of unconscious personality reactions which the ego uses to protect the conscious mind from threatening feelings and perceptions.
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. Anna FreudFreud, Anna
, 1895–1982, British psychoanalyst, b. Vienna, Austria. Continuing the work of her father, Sigmund Freud, she was a pioneer in the psychoanalysis of children.
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 studied the widespread occurrence of denial among small children and explained that the mature ego does not continue to make extensive use of denial, because it conflicts with the capacity to recognize and critically test reality. Most people employ denial at some time in their lives when coping with stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one. Elisabeth Kübler-RossKübler-Ross, Elisabeth
, 1926–2004, American psychiatrist, b. Switzerland. After studying medicine at the Univ. of Zürich (M.D. 1957), Kübler-Ross became a pioneer in the field of thanatology, the study of death and dying.
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's influential theory describes denial as the first stage of a dying person's progress in coming to terms with terminal illness. In such instances, denial may be considered adaptive. It is considered maladaptive, however, when it becomes delusional. In recent years, the term is used more generally, to describe the suppression of reality rather than a particular defense mechanism in the Freudian sense.

denial

[di′nī·əl]
(mathematics)
(psychology)
An unconscious defense mechanism in which an individual denies herself or himself recognition of an observation in order to avoid pain or anxiety.

denial

1. the rejection of the truth of a proposition, doctrine, etc.
2. a psychological process by which painful truths are not admitted into an individual's consciousness
References in periodicals archive ?
He denied passing sweets to either of the girls via his mouth, kissing them in his car, or that they did ironing or cooking for him.
Shaun Byrne, 20, of Stonedale Crescent, Croxteth, denied conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs, and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.
Under cross-examination by Linda Strudwick, for the prosecution, Tweed denied he was using the woman, now a 20-year-old student from Hertfordshire, "like a sex object".
Khan, Amjad Mahmood, 32, Mohammed Irfan, 30, Zahoor Iqbal, 30, and Hamid Elasmir, 44, denied assisting terrorism by supplying equipment.
Irfan, of Asquith Road, Ward End, Birmingham, denied having a CD containing information about explosives.
Ermir Hysenaj, Raluca Millen and Katie Philp denied robbery and kidnap plots and possessing guns.
Under the reassessment process, UnumProvident is required to notify California insureds--those whose claims were denied between Jan.
Department of Labor officials are reviewing all cases that were denied earlier, and are trying to reach sick employees, many of whom are in their 70s, to let them know about the program changes.
Alistair Murray, 36, a financial systems analyst, of Edinburgh, denied conspiring to supply cocaine and possessing cocaine.
John Broughton, 54, of Keighley, West Yorkshire, denied conspiracy to transfer the proceeds of drug trafficking and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Payments were denied to 81,000 of the 94,000 black farmers who sought restitution, according to the EWG report.