noun[mass noun] Psychoanalysis
The tendency of a repressed wish or feeling to be expressed at a conscious level in a contrasting form: repressed homosexuality can develop into paranoia via the operation of the defence mechanisms of reaction formation and projection [count noun]: shamelessness is a reaction formation against shame, a defiant attempt to overcome a profound inner fear of weakness
More example sentences
- There seems a quality of reaction formation suggesting, not surprisingly, that these scientists were struggling with themselves as much as with Müller, their teacher.
- The psychoanalytic tradition of masquerade began with Joan Riviere's conception of womanliness as reaction formation in the aftermath of the intellectual woman's theft of masculinity.
- By acknowledging the interramification of technology and the lived body, bodily integrity is undermined, and the desire for wholeness is figured as ‘a kind of reaction formation to this instability’.
More definitions of reaction formationDefinition of reaction formation in:
- The US English dictionary