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Examples of the mental protection

There is an obvious similarity of the mechanisms of mental protection according to the type of displacement and displacement to the conditioned-reflex processes. I.e., the state of mental injury (mental suffering), when there is no physical damage, there is no explicit threat of damage, displaced it is insurance, connected with the possibility of damage, it is possible by analogy, with some assumptions, to examine as unconditional reaction. Any factor of the surrounding situation can be unconditioned stimulus in this case, it is more frequent than the social nature. The subsequent sharp mental reaction (unconditional answer) occurs with the significant participation of cognitive (cognitive) processes - recollections, conclusions and so forth in proportion to the eradication of mental injury are included the shielding mechanisms of displacement and displacement, which is equivalent to the formation of conditional reaction. Conditional stimulus here enters, as a rule, into the composition of unconditional stimulus as part into whole. In this case the conditional reaction, earlier which was being been the component part of the unconditional reaction, as a result of displacement seemingly picks up entire it "negative emotional charge". I.e., side-issue at some moment begins to be received as the more urgent, than extruded major issue (estimation of situation as a whole), which included to the displacement this side-issue. As a result of this the sharpness (urgency) of basic problem is reduced. In the dynamics these processes of mental protection can be examined based on examples.

Upon transfer into another school Anna encountered rigid requirements unusual for it. Some teachers, as it calculated, related to it incorrectly, and it began to hate them. To walk into the school with this mood is very heavy. Therefore experiences apropos of teachers in the course of time were dulled, but in by it it appeared aversion to the studies (reading the books, the preparation of domestic tasks, etc.), although in the previous school it learned well. Displacement in this case occurred to the training matters and the problems, since they became the prearranged signals, which anticipate unpleasant contact with the teachers.

In Cyril complex situation arose. On the circumstances independent of it it is forced to move to another city. The change of customary situation was in prospect. It did not be desirable to leave settled house, heavy thoughts about the forthcoming parting with the relatives and the friends made smooth. To it's a pity lose work, to depart from the association, in which it so heavily was adapted, but with the acquisition of experience occupied worthy place. Cyril began to note after a certain time that all experiences stepped back to the second plan, except the problem, connected with the loss of work (displacement of problem as a whole to its part).

The object of the displacement (i.e., by the prearranged signal, which causes, for example, the reaction of irritation) depending on situation everything can be anything: the detail of clothing, the feature of nature, men as a whole, the group of people, visual means so forth i.e., with a certain stress in the interrelations, for example, with one person, displacement can occur in his exterior view, manner of behavior. With interaction in the group - to someone of the members of this group (phenomenon of "scapegoat"). According to the rule: from whole - to the quotient.

In all these examples is observed the phenomenon, similar to volume, which Z. Freud named "displacement" into the unconscious. It interests us, is faster, displacement into the the predsoznatel'noye, when major issue ceases to disturb, to what - the time can be forgotten, but in the specific situation again it is recalled. With the comparison with the stages of the production of the conditioned reflex, this state (displacement) initially coincides with the stage of the generalization, when a feeling of anxiety appears (indeterminate danger). This is understandable: too many prearranged signals (it is insurance) not "are covered" by consciousness, until are determined one, strongest. When this occurs (specialization of the conditioned reflex) - anxiety it will disappear - urgent will become only one prearranged signal (one problem). However, main problem so will remain extruded. Thus, by displacement completes the begun process of displacement.

Certainly, the process of displacement should not be understood literally, simply, with the programmed result. Each minute the surrounding situation changes. Together with it change the accents of perception. Therefore the object of displacement is inconstant, since because of the complexity of major issue, it cannot be and unique solution. Let us note that the simple, but strongly travmiruyushchiye factors, as a result of generalization cause complex psychoemotional reactions; not "envelopped" by consciousness, they unavoidably are displaced and displace. The simple, uncomplicated reactions are frequently the objects of the displacement of other, more complex reactions (problems).

But mental process as a rule does not stop on this (see: Displacement, transfer, inversion, sublimation...). Further eradication of mental injury occurs already by the mechanism of "inversion". I.e., when the sharpness of reaction weakens (danger it steps back), or when negative emotions (problem) prevent solution of other problems (with the presence of the corresponding motivation), occurs "inversion" - the replacement of negative emotions by positive. The behavior radically changes: strategy of avoidance is substituted by strategy of reaching. That earlier caused fear, aversion, irritation, now causes interest, desire to possess this or to experience the previously avoided sensations. I.e., appears the subordinate motivation, whose formation is connected with the prevailing motivation.

When in Anna negative relation to the studies because of the problems with the teachers appeared, situation seemed hopeless, if not one event. In this school was traditional strong amateur artistic activity. Anna began actively to participate in it and, possessing excellent voice, successfully it came out on the school concert. After this, it felt special to itself relation and sympathy of those surrounding. It it became somehow uncomfortable badly to learn, and it decided to become one of the first students in the school. Under the action of this strong motivation, negative relation to the studies was changed into the positive (it occurred inversion). With the appearance of interest in the studies and the appearance of the first successes, were fixed the relations, also, with the teachers (basic problem also it is inverted, i.e., it is permitted).

In Cyril in connection with the passage the experiences apropos of the loss of work aggravated. But it was explained with the encounter with the management that in that city, where it crosses, the branch of firm will be opened, and to Cyril as to promising colleague, they proposed to head him. After this, proposal (strong motivation), were evaporated all experiences apropos of parting with the working association (inversion). Moreover, business relations with some members of the working association now began to be received by it as hostile from both sides (inversion of feelings from the tolerance and, therefore, the concealed tension, to the complete nonacceptance, that, however strangely, it served as discharging). As soon as this problem it stepped back, suddenly aggravated other experiences, already apropos of parting with the friends (it arose new displacement to the part of major issue). Since motivation is very strong (career aspirations), then this problem rapidly was scattered: in Cyril the desire to test itself appeared by the solitude, other difficulties.

Such type of inversion (as in a last example) it is possible to designate as the "desire to cause to itself pain", understanding under the word pain and mental injury also. In similar situations occur the inversions of the type the "desire to cause pain to other". But it occurs on closer examination that the desire to cause pain to other equivalent to the reason for pain to itself, if this another person to you is significant. Without going deeply into detail, let us note that Z. Freud already noted a similar phenomenon - the possibility of the compatibility in man of the opposite tendencies in the form of perversions.

Further, the motivation, which arose as a result of inversion, can prevail. A similar process Z. Freud named "sublimation". But he examined the special case, when sexual forbidden pulses, inclinations, do not find their expression and they are sublimated into the socially acceptable activity. It is understandable that as a result of this, that prevails becomes the motivation, which caused this activity (see: Theories of motivation.).

Example with Anna. As a result of the strong desire to become one of the best students in the school, in by it appeared the substantial advances in the studies. But, in order to become the first, be required many efforts. She understood that its leadership already ceased to draw. Friendly relations with the classmates by this time already arose. It simply it became interestingly to learn, each day to learn something new. Accent was displaced from the leadership to the interest in the studies. In this example, in the process of sublimation only social motives are begun to operate. (other examples see in Psychology of mode...)

Based on materials of Vladimir Ivanov's article
"Psychology, dreams, reflexes" - Part 1,   Part 2.

Russian version

Articles on the theme:

Reflexes, emotions, motives.
Displacement, inversion, sublimation - stages of process.
Theories of motivation.
Inversion of emotions - base shielding mechanism.
Children's fears, dreams, nightmares.
Sleep and dreams. Psychophysiology, function.
Psychosomatick, neuroses.
Psychology of mode - Highlighting, tattooing, piercing.
Sexual inclination. Psychology, physiology.
Instincts and reflexes.
Attractiveness, the phenomenon of beauty.
Visual perception, gustatory sensation, taste, smells.
Instruction by the mechanism of inversion and sublimation.

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