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


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