Displacement

Displacement

According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, displacement is when a person shifts his/her impulses from an unacceptable target to a more acceptable or less threatening target. For example, if you are very angry at your teacher because you did poorly on a test and think the reason for your poor performance is because the teacher asked tricky, unfair questions, you may become angry at your teacher. But, you obviously can’t yell at your teacher (really, you can’t!), hit your teacher, or express your anger in any other hostile way toward the teacher, so you go home and “displace” your anger by punching your little brother instead.

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