Identifying Defense Mechanisms in the Media

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For this assignment, you will find examples in the media (movie clips, T.V. episodes or clips from the episode, and/or T.V. commercials) highlighting the defense mechanisms discussed in class and put them in a Powerpoint presentation.


To earn full credit, your creation needs:

1. One example per defense mechanism

2. For each Powerpoint slide:

a. Identify defense mechanism

b. The title of the show, movie, or commercial the example is from

c. The link to the clip/episode or commercial and the time when defense mechanism is shown

d. A self-written statement about how the clip/video represents the defense mechanism

Defense Mechanisms

1. when there is a conflict between the id and superego, anxiety is produced

2. ego reduces anxiety by using techniques called defense mechanisms

3. have 2 common characteristics

a. they operate unconsciously- we aren’t aware we are engaging in them

b. they distort, deny and falsify reality

1. denial- refusing to acknowledge painful reality

ex- refusing to believe significant other broke up with you

2. repression- pushing painful thoughts and memories into the unconscious

ex- occurs in traumatic situations (abuse)

3. projection- throwing undesirable thoughts and behaviors onto someone else; it involves

two people

ex- insisting to your friends that your significant other still loves you when you are the

one that still loves him/her

4. identification- taking on characteristics of other people; trying to be like someone else

5. regression- reverting back to childhood behaviors to deal with a problem

ex- throwing temper tantrums when you don’t get your way

6. intellectualization- taking an academic, non-emotional stance to deal with anxiety

provoking topic

ex- diagnosed with disorder/disability; instead of worrying, go to the library to research it

7. reaction formation- doing the opposite of what you think or feel

ex- saying you cant stand your ex even though you want him/her back

8. sublimation- converting sexual/aggressive impulses into socially acceptable behavior

– can be viewed as a “healthy” defense mechanism

ex- instead of getting angry and beating crap out of your ex, you exert that negative

energy into a sport

9. rationalization- coming up with a beneficial end to undesirable situations; making

excuses for behavior/situations

ex- saying you will find a hotter, smarter significant other

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