Intellectualization

Intellectualization

Intellectualization is a defense mechanism where reasoning is used to block confrontation with an unconscious conflict and its associated emotional stress. It involves removing one's self, emotionally, from a stressful event. Intellectualization is often accomplished through rationalization; rather than accepting reality, one may explain it away to remove one's self. [cite web
url=http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/intellectualization.htm
title=Intellectualization
publisher=changingminds.org
accessdate=2008-03-11
last=
first=
] [cite web
url=http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/counseling/defenses.html
title=Defenses
publisher=www.psychpage.com
accessdate=2008-03-11
last=
first=
]

Intellectualization is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. Freud believed that memories have both conscious and unconscious aspects, and that intellectualization allows for the conscious analysis of an event in a way that does not provoke anxiety. [cite web
url=http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/counseling/defenses.html
title=Defenses
publisher=www.psychpage.com
accessdate=2008-03-11
last=
first=
]

Description

Intellectualization is a 'flight into reason', where the person avoids uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and logic. The situation is treated as an interesting problem that engages the person on a rational basis, whilst the emotional aspects are completely ignored as being irrelevant.

Jargon is often used as a device of intellectualization. By using complex terminology, the focus becomes on the words and finer definitions rather than the human effects.

Intellectualization protects against anxiety by repressing the emotions connected with an event. It is also known as 'Isolation of affect' as the affective elements are removed from the situation. It allows to rationally deal with a situation, but may cause suppression of feelings that need to be acknowledged to move on.

Examples

Source: http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/intellectualization.htm

Suppose George has been brought up by a strict father, and he feels hurt and angry as a result. Although George may have deep feelings of hatred towards his father, when he talks about his childhood, George may say: "Yes, my father was a rather firm person, I suppose I do feel some antipathy towards him even now".

George intellectualizes; he chooses rational and emotionally cool words to describe experiences which are usually emotional and very painful.

A person told they have cancer asks for details on the probability of survival and the success rates of various drugs. The doctor may join in, using 'carcinoma' instead of 'cancer' and 'terminal' instead of 'fatal'.

A woman who has been raped seeks out information on other cases and the psychology of rapists and victims. She takes self-defense classes in order to feel better (rather than more directly addressing the psychological and emotional issues).

A person who is heavily in debt builds a complex spreadsheet of how long it would take to repay using different payment options and interest rates.

Footnotes


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • intellectualization — index concept, contemplation, ratiocination Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • intellectualization — 1821, noun of action from INTELLECTUALIZE (Cf. intellectualize) …   Etymology dictionary

  • intellectualization — (Amer.) n. rationalization, act of analyzing with the mind; making intellectual (also intellectualisation) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • intellectualization — noun see intellectualize …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • intellectualization — in·tel·lec·tu·al·i·za·tion (ĭn tl ĕk cho͞o ə lĭ zāʹshən) n. Psychology 1. The act or process of intellectualizing. 2. An unconscious means of protecting oneself from the emotional stress and anxiety associated with confronting painful personal… …   Universalium

  • intellectualization — noun a) the act or process of intellectualizing b) an instance of such a process …   Wiktionary

  • intellectualization — An unconscious defense mechanism in which reasoning, logic, or focusing on and verbalizing intellectual minutiae is used in an attempt to avoid confrontation with an objectionable impulse, affect, or interpersonal situation. [L. intellectus,… …   Medical dictionary

  • intellectualization — in·tel·lec·tu·al·i·za·tion …   English syllables

  • intellectualization — noun (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that uses reasoning to block out emotional stress and conflict • Syn: ↑intellectualisation • Topics: ↑psychiatry, ↑psychopathology, ↑psychological medicine • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • intellectualize — intellectualization, n. intellectualizer, n. /in tl ek chooh euh luyz /, v., intellectualized, intellectualizing. v.t. 1. to seek or consider the rational content or form of. 2. to make intellectual. 3. to analyze (something) intellectually or… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”