Psychology Personality Development Can You Identify These Defense Mechanisms? Discover just how well you understand the ego's mechanisms of defense. By Kendra Cherry | Reviewed by a board-certified physician Updated September 20, 2016 Share Pin Email More in Psychology Personality Development Basics Cognitive Psychology Developmental Psychology Behavioral Theories Psychosocial Theories History Personality Psychology Leadership Psychotherapy Neuroscience and Biological Psychology Branches Social Psychology For Students Glossary View All 1. Jen quits school to ensure she doesn't have to speak in public. What defense mechanism is she using? JGI/Jamie Grill / Blend Images / Getty Images Denial Avoidance Sublimation Passive-aggression Correct Wrong Avoidance is one of the additional defense mechanisms identified by psychoanalysts. This involves a refusal to deal with an unpleasant situation or problem. 2. While she wanted to be a doctor, Gwen didn't get accepted to medical school and became a pharmacist instead. Jupiterimages / Stone / Getty Images Acting out Compensation Avoidance Aim inhibition Correct Wrong Aim inhibition was not one of the original defense mechanisms described by Anna Freud and was instead identified by subsequent researchers. Aim inhibition involves holding oneself back from the full satisfaction of one's aims as a result of conflict. 3. Jeanette was abused as a child. She doesn't remember the abuse but now struggles to trust others and form relationships. Echo / Cultura / Getty Images Displacement Repression Affiliation Avoidance Correct Wrong Repression involves removing painful or conflictual thoughts, impulses or experiences from awareness and burying the memory in the unconscious. While no longer available in conscious awareness, the repressed information may still have an impact on behavior. 4. Which defense mechanism did Freud believe to be a sign of maturity? Tom Merton / Caiaimage / Getty Images Repression Displacement Sublimation Regression Correct Wrong Freud believed that the id is the most primal part of personality, full of unconconsious urges that are often socially unacceptable. It is the ego's job to make sure these urges are expressed in acceptable ways. Sublimation involves taking an unacceptable urge and converting it into a more acceptable form. 5. Bill's friends confront him about his excess drinking, but he thinks he doesn't have a problem. Bill is experiencing: drbimages / E+ / Getty Images Compensation Denial Rationalization Displacement Correct Wrong Denial is one of the primary defense mechanisms identified by Anna Freud. It involves refusing to face what is often an obvious truth. Denying that one has an alcohol or substance abuse problem is one fairly common example. 6. During her morning jog, Linda encounters a growling dog and fears the animal will bite her. Freud identified this as: Jim Corwin / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images Reality anxiety Moral anxiety Neurotic anxiety Libidinal anxiety Correct Wrong Sigmund Freud described three key types of anxiety: neurotic anxiety, reality anxiety and moral anxiety. Neurotic anxiety centers on the unconscious urges, reality anxiety involves a fear of real-world events and moral anxiety centers on a fear of violating one's moral principles. 7. A man who cheats on his wife accuses her of being unfaithful. This is an example of: Tetra Images / Getty Images Sublimation Repression Rationalization Projection Correct Wrong Projection was one of the original defense mechanisms described by Anna Freud. It involves taking our own unacceptable feelings or behaviors and ascribing them to someone else. These feelings are unacceptable and make us uncomfortable, so we reduce anxiety by projecting these feelings onto another person. 8. Mary has an argument with her boss and yells at her kids when she gets home. Which defense mechanism is Mary displaying? Jamie Grill Photography / Tetra images / Getty Images Denial Rationalization Displacement Reaction formation Correct Wrong Displacement takes place when we cannot vent our feelings on the desired target of our emotions, so we shift these feelings on to a more acceptable target. Yelling back at her boss might get Mary fired, so she instead displaces her anger onto her children. 9. After being diagnosed with cancer, Greg learns everything he can about his illness. His response is an example of: Dave Greenwood / Taxi / Getty Images Intellectualization Regression Sublimation Rationalization Correct Wrong Intellectualization involves reducing anxiety by turning to logic and facts. By tackling a problem in a rational way, the emotional aspects of the situation are minimized. 10. Clare gets fired and blames her job loss on her co-workers. This is an example of which defense mechanism? Image Source RF/Cadalpe / Getty Images Displacement Denial Rationalization Sublimation Correct Wrong Rationalization involves trying to come up with a logical reason for why something occurred. Such actions often center on justifying aspects of our behavior that make us uncomfortable. If we are unkind, we rationalize it by blaming the subject of our scorn. If something bad happens to us, we blame it on some outside force rather than our own actions. Can You Identify These Defense Mechanisms? You got: % Correct. You're the Next Sigmund Freud Print Collector / Hulton Archive / Getty Images There is a new expert in town! You have a solid grasp on what how defense mechanisms help protect the ego from anxiety. You love psychoanalyzing people and you know all about the complex relationship between the id, ego and superego. Add to your psychoanalytic expertise by learning a bit more about some interesting facts about Sigmund Freud's life and some of his best-known theories. Do you think you have what it takes to be the next great psychoanalyst? Here are a few signs that you just might be the next Sigmund Freud. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Share Your Results Share Pin Tweet Can You Identify These Defense Mechanisms? You got: % Correct. You're an Armchair Psychologist Ned Frisk / Blend Images / Getty Images You did pretty well and you have a good grasp of some of the basics. You are a natural people-reader, so you have a great sense of what makes people do the things they do. If you want to learn more, start by take a closer look at some of the major defense mechanisms as well as the complicated relationship between the id, ego and superego. Do you think you might have what it takes to become a psychoanalyst? Check out some of the top signs that you might be the next Sigmund Freud. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Share Your Results Share Pin Tweet Can You Identify These Defense Mechanisms? You got: % Correct. You're a Psychology Novice Tom Merton / Caiaimage / Getty Images You might be new to the study of Freud's theories, but you still have a pretty good sense of what makes people tick. Brushing up on some of the basics can give you a better grasp of how the defense mechanisms work to protect the ego from anxiety. Freudian theories can be challenging to understand at first, but you can deepen your understanding of these concepts by exploring the conscious and unconscious mind as well as the complex relationship between the id, ego and superego. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Share Your Results Share Pin Tweet Can You Identify These Defense Mechanisms? You got: % Correct. You're No Psychoanalyst Jamie Grill / Tetra images / Getty Images Let's face it; Freudian theories aren't everybody's thing. You might need to learn more about these concepts for your psychology class, however, so start by exploring some of the major defense mechanisms. It might also help to learn more about the id, ego and superego as well as the conscious and unconscious mind. You might not be the next Sigmund Freud, but there is a chance that another area of psychology might appeal to you more. Perhaps you are more of a behaviorist, humanist or cognitivist, perhaps? THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Share Your Results Share Pin Tweet Up Next Up Next Article What Are Freud's 3 Levels of Mind? Up Next Article What Role Does the Ego Play In Personality? Up Next Article Freud and the Id, Ego, and Superego Up Next List What Were Freud/s Most Important Books?