Psych Central



Reaction Formation

By Renée Grinnell

According to Sigmund Freud, a defense mechanism in which frightening or socially unacceptable emotions are transformed into their opposite behaviors.

Example: A young man who fears he might be gay joins a conservative church and becomes very involved with anti-homosexuality activism.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Oct 2008