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(1) The reaction of an organism to injury (or other disruption of vital activities), by which unimpaired organs and systems undertake the functions of the destroyed structures through compensatory hyperfunction or a qualitative change in their function. For example, after renal shutdown or the removal of a diseased kidney, the substitutive hyperfunction of a healthy kidney ensures the excretion of water, urea, and other metabolic products from the body. Compensatory cardiac hyperfunction ensures normal entry of blood into the tissues when there are heart defects or hypertension. Prolonged substitutive hyperfunction is accompanied by hypertrophy of the overworking organ and can lead to its exhaustion. Compensation of function is one of the most important mechanisms of homeostasis.
(2) The restoration of an organism’s normal development after its disruption by unfavorable internal or external influences. Thus, the retarded growth of animal larvae as a result of insufficient nutrition may be compensated by intensified feeding and accelerated growth in subsequent stages of development. Compensation is one of the forms of self-regulation of organisms. Sometimes the term is used to designate those processes in the phylogeny of organs that are due to the functional replacement of an organ (or a part of it) by a different organ (or part of it).
A. A. MAKHOTIN and F. Z. MEERSON
(1) In civil law, one of the methods of settling obligations (by offsetting of claims).
(2) In Soviet labor law, payments to production and clerical workers that are made in the cases envisaged by law.
in psychology, the restoration of the disrupted equilibrium of mental and psychophysiological processes by means of creating an opposite reaction or impulse. In this most general sense, the concept of compensation is widely applied to various mental processes and functions. It has received particular attention in a number of schools of psychoanalysis.
In the individual psychology of A. Adler (Austria), compensation is considered to be the fundamendal factor in the formation of character and of a particular pattern of behavior (”life-style”). Adler considered compensation to be the overcoming of inherent traits of inferiority by developing opposite character and behavioral traits. For example, lack of self-confidence may be compensated by the development of overconfidence.
The Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, regarding the psyche as an autonomic system, calls compensation a principle of psychic self-regulation and of mutual equilibration of conscious and unconscious tendencies. Thus, according to Jung, unilateral conscious tendencies lead to an intensification of opposite unconscious strivings, which are expressed, for example, in dreams that sharply contrast with conscious perceptions.
D. N. LIALIKOV