Advantages and disadvantages of defense mechanisms:

1. What defense mechanisms have you noticed in the people around you?

2. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of these defense mechanisms?

Summary table of Defense Mechanisms:

Denial Refusing to acknowledge a painful or threatening reality: Ray, who is told that he has terminal cancer, believes instead that he simply has bronchitis.

Repression Excluding uncomfortable thoughts from consciousness: Lisa, who was once caught shoplifting when she was in high school, has no recollection of the embarrassing event.

Projection Attributing one's own repressed motives, feelings, or wishes to others: Marilyn is unfairly passed over for a promotion; she denies that she is angry about this, but is certain that her supervisor is angry with her.

Identification Taking on the characteristics of someone else to avoid feeling incompetent: Anthony, uncertain of his own attractiveness, takes on the dress and mannerisms of a popular teacher.

Regression Reverting to childlike behavior and defenses: Angry because his plan to reorganize his division has been rejected, Bob throws a tantrum.

Intellectualization Thinking abstractly about stressful problems as a way of detaching oneself from them: After learning that she has not been asked to a classmate's costume party, Tina coolly discusses the ways in which social cliques form and how they serve to regulate and control school life.

Reaction formation Expression of exaggerated ideas and emotions that are the opposite of one's repressed beliefs or feelings: At work, Michael loudly professes that he would never take advantage of a rival employee, though his behavior indicates quite the opposite.

Displacement Shifting repressed motives from an original object to a substitute object: Angry at his instructor's unreasonable request that he rewrite his term paper, but afraid to confront his instructor, Nelson comes home and yells at his house mates for telling him what to do.

Sublimation Redirecting repressed motives and feelings into more socially acceptable channels: The child of parents who never paid attention to him, Bill is running for public office.

Solution Summary

The solution provides information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing various defense mechanisms in our daily life situations.