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A conscious or unconscious defense mechanism in which a person overestimates an admired aspect or attribute of another person.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the mental formulation of concepts of objects that do not exist and are not realizable in reality, but ones for which prototypes exist in the real world.

The process of idealization is characterized by abstraction from properties and relations necessarily inherent in objects of concrete reality and by the introduction of attributes that cannot in principle belong to their real prototypes into the content of the concepts being formed. A point may serve as an example of a concept that is the result of idealization. It is impossible to find in the real world an object which is a point, that is, an object having no dimensions. The concepts “straight line,” “circumference,” “an absolutely black body,” and “inertia” are of an analogous nature. It is said of concepts that are a result of idealization (frequently they are simply referred to as idealizations) that in them idealized (or ideal) objects are conceived. Having formed a concept of a given object by means of idealization, it is possible henceforth to operate with it in discourse as with an object that really exists. Idealization makes it possible to formulate exact laws and to construct abstract schemata of concrete processes in order to understand them more thoroughly; in this sense the method of modeling is inseparable from idealization.

It is a characteristic of scientific idealization, distinguishing it from sterile fantasy, that idealized objects produced through it are under certain circumstances interpreted in terms of nonideal-ized (real) objects. It is practice (including that of systematic scientific observations and experiments) that confirms the correctness of the process of abstraction giving rise to concepts of idealized abstract objects and that serves as a criterion of the fruitfulness of idealization in cognition.


Gorskii, D. P. Voprosy abstraktsii i obrazovanie poniatii. Moscow, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But idealization needs another fundamental procedure called gradual concretization, or, as McMullin would say, de-idealization, (6) but before to explain this procedure it is necessary to understand what an idealizing assumption is; it consists in the following propositional function:
If a science applied idealization (establishing idealizing assumptions) without any limitations, then scientific statements would be out of empirical tests; it would be quiet sufficient to abstract from disturbing factors always when they occur and to safe statements from falsification in this way.
192), as love "based upon an idealization of an individual, rather than upon the individual as he or she exists in reality" (Sternberg, 1988, p.
This is the idealization of the father that demands that we "restore father to his rightful place" (Gottman, 1998).
"family values," has been discredited in the minds of many for its idealization of "Leave it to Beaver" culture and the apparent cynicism of well-heeled politicians who invoke it for partisan gain.
One study of 10 such cases found a pattern of therapy in which idealization, fantasies of omnipotence, and the avoidance of rupture were prominent, Hilary Rubenstein, Ph.D., said at a meeting sponsored by the American Psychoanalytic Association.
In one respect he reinforces the view of the revisionist school, by showing better than before how much the English idealization of the feast was one aspect of a reaction to the insecurities provoked by industrialization and urbanization.
According to Kohut, mild disruptions of admiration or idealization are necessary for healthy self-development.
It is a matchless idealization of the team concept: We need each other to be successful, and it emboldens us to step up and assume a leadership role.
And as Redekop examines what Habermas thought of the ancient public, which was typically idealized in eighteenth-century discourse, he finds that Herder, notwithstanding his idealization of primordial sociability and communication, also condemns it for its susceptibility to demagoguery.
According to S., conscience consists of several interactive dimensions: psychic energy, emotional and psychological defenses, empathy, a sense of guilt, idealization, self-esteem, and moral beliefs.