a defense described by Freud whereby we strive in the opposite direction of an unacceptable impulse (e.g., being very nice to conceal one's underlying hatred). While some strivings are reaction formations, Horney pointed out that some acts of kindness, generosity, and affection ought to be taken as genuine rather than reducible to a defense.
A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in which an individual attempts to justify or make consciously tolerable by plausible means, feelings or behavior that otherwise would be intolerable.
A defence mechanism whereby an unconscious and unacceptable impulse or feeling that would cause anxiety is converted into its opposite so that it can become conscious and can be expressed.
(psychiatry) a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously develops attitudes and behavior that are the opposite of unacceptable repressed desires and impulses and serve to conceal them; "his strict morality is just a reaction formation to hide his sexual drive"
a kind of defense mechanism which protects one's self-concept
( psych.) - Defense mechanism. Subconsciously changing unacceptable feelings or behaviour into an acceptable form. Masochists see pain as pleasure.
a defence mechanism where disturbing ideas are kept unconscious by the presence of the opposite ideas on consciousness. We conceal our motives by giving a strong expression to its opposite.
In psychoanalytic theory, a mechanism of defense in which a forbidden impulse is turned into its opposite (e.g., hate toward a sibling becomes exaggerated love).
In Freud's psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defense mechanism in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions are replaced by their direct opposites. This mechanism is often characteristic of obsessional neuroses. When this mechanism is overused, especially during the formation of the ego, it can become a permanent character trait.