havl0034: November 2011 Archives

Changing our Perceptions

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Think back. Have you ever done something differently to cope with what is actually going on? Denied it, forgot it, acted like a little kid, or even acted rude? If so, you have used an unconscious maneuver intended to minimize the anxiety of the problem: a defense mechanism. In changing our perception of the problem, it makes it a lot easier to deal with. There are many examples of the different defense mechanisms in movies:

Displacement was shown when Jen took out her anger out on a piƱata instead of the person or thing that made her angry. She displaced her anger onto something more acceptable. Denial was shown when the girlfriend was motivated to forget the fact her boyfriend was breaking up with her. She denied the fact that the breakup was real. Intellectualization was shown when Elle decided to study and get into Harvard law school rather than the breakup between her and her boyfriend. She is avoiding her real emotions and focusing on something more abstract and impersonal. Rationalization is shown when Jim Carrey rationalized why he did not get his job promotion by saying he didn't want to be tied down anyway. He provided a reasonable-sounding explanation for his failure. Sublimation is shown when Gretchen uses an essay about Caesar and Brutis's relationship to take out her frustration with Regina, instead of taking her anger out on Regina and ruining their friendship. She is transforming a social unacceptable impulse into a social valued (schoolwork) goal. Reaction formation is shown when the Queen is somewhat annoyed with the Principal, she pretends to be very sweet and gives her to Joseph to give her a job elsewhere. Regression is shown when Jenna acts like a child when Matt tells her that they are not friends anymore. Jenna is returning psychologically to a younger and safer time to deal with her anxiety about not having Matt as a friend anymore. Repression is shown when Sam stumbles on his words when he is trying to talk to an attractive woman, showing his desire for her. He is blocking unacceptable impulses from consciousness. Projection is shown when Cecilia makes Claire look like she wants attention, when really she is the one who craves it. She is unconsciously putting her negative quality of wanting attention onto another girl so she does not look bad.
However, they did not add Identification with the aggressor.

This boy is adopting ways of the army because he does not want to be hurt or threatened. He is adopting the psychological characteristics of them to stay safe. People need to be careful of this because children who grow up around hurt and violence will take on the characteristics of this and grow up this way too. Then it will become a chain and personality formation will be harmed for all of their ancestry.


Defense mechanisms are just a way for people to transfer negative feelings from their anxiety and hurt into different ways that don't harm the person who hurt them, or to make themselves able to cope with it more positively.

Imagine yourself when you were 4, watching your favorite television show, Power Rangers. It made you feel powerful, aggressive, and invincible. When you and your friends would play, you reenacted the moves you saw in the show: kicking, punching, and shoving. One of your friends gets hurt, but it was only playing; you didn't mean to hurt anyone! After the wound is all bandaged up, you just keep playing like nothing happened. This is a common occurrence with children after watching violent media. This also occurs in children playing violent video games. Findings from University of Missouri say that "brains of violent video game players become less responsive to violence, and this diminished brain response predicts an increase in aggression" (ScienceDaily). In their studies, after the participants played the violent video games, they were shown a picture of violence. The participants had reduced brain response to the photos. This reduced response to the photos predicted aggression levels, where the smaller the brain response to the violent photos, the more aggressive the participants were. The video games that are popular now are mostly violent video games, and surveys show that an elementary school child spends more than 40 hours a week playing these violent games (ScienceDaily). Most of these popular violent video games encourage the participation in the violence, therefore, desensitizing the children's brains to the sight of violent behavior. In another article, researchers suggest "performing violent acts in video games may be more contributing to children's aggression than passively watching violent acts on television" (Tomkins). There are games that promote prostitution, theft, and violent behavior, such as Grand Theft Auto. The fact that, in video games, you have to act out the violence, makes violent actions are more familiar to the children and there are no consequences for it, leading to the wrong idea. From these findings, we can conclude that violence in media cause children to be more desensitized to violence and more familiar with how to act out violent actions without the consequences there are in real life.


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This page is an archive of recent entries written by havl0034 in November 2011.

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