reaction formation


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Related to reaction formation: Defense mechanisms

reaction formation

[rē′ak·shən fȯr‚mā·shən]
(psychology)
A defense mechanism, characterized by the development of conscious, socially acceptable activity which is the antithesis of repressed or rejected unconscious desires.
References in periodicals archive ?
In The White Negro (1957), Mailer proposed that Americans continue the war in the form of a collective psychological reaction formation against the totalitarian encroachments of the media.
Responding is an exaggerated fashion, opposite to the way you actually feel, is the use of "reaction formation" as a defense mechanism.
Wade, she described what she called a "reaction formation along ideological lines.