- Minimisation (psychology)
Reduction words and renaming
'Reduction words...are words that we often use to minimize unethical behavior: sort of/barely/no big deal/not more than/only a little/all I did was/kind of/once/just/merely'.
Similarly ' renaming is the use of benign or benevolent words to replace words that have negative connotations...using the word "collateral damage" removes us from the horror of its meaning'.
Minimisation may take a number of forms and appear in several different contexts.
Minimisation of intentionality
Minimisation may take the form of a denial of intentionality. '"I just opened my umbrella", said the man who hit the woman in the eye with it. "Just" is the great give-away word. Listen to how often you hear it. The word "just" is supposed to mean that the action had no source..."Concreteness" is the psychiatric term used to refer to such action divorced within from the source'.
Minimization may take the form of a manipulative technique:
- observed in abusers and manipulators to downplay their misdemeanors when confronted with irrefutable facts.
- observed in abusers and manipulators to downplay positive attributes (talents and skills etc.) of their victims and facilitate victim blaming.
A variation on minimisation as a manipulative technique is "claiming altruistic motives" such as saying "I don't do this because I am selfish, and for gain, but because I am a socially aware person interested in the common good".
Minimization may also take the form of cognitive distortion:
- that avoids acknowledging and dealing with negative emotions by reducing the importance and impact of events that give rise to those emotions.
- that avoids conscious confrontation with the negative impacts of one's behavior on others by reducing the perception of such impacts.
- that avoids interpersonal confrontation by reducing the perception of the impact of others' behavior on oneself.
- observed in victims of a trauma to downplay that trauma so as to avoid worry and stress in themselves and others.
- saying that a taunt or insult was only a joke
- a customer receiving a response to a complaint to a company for poor service being told that complaints like his from other customers were very rare when in fact they are common.
Depression and self-esteem
It is a normal reaction that 'when threatened by external events or negative feedback, people must defend their sense of who and what they are', and one strategy is 'redefinition of an event's importance...[to] downplay importance' of the event.
One of the problems of depression is that a reverse tendency appears: 'when we are depressed, we often discount the small positive things we do...discounting or dismissing praise'. In extreme cases of manic-depression, 'these individuals discount external reality at a high level, which facilitates the discounting of accomplishments'.
Transactional analysis: discounting
Post-Bernian transactional analysis explored the role played by discounting in maintaining dependency relationships: 'the discounting of the child by the parent figure, initially by the real parent and later by the child's internalized parent. When one person discounts another, he acts as if what he feels is more important than what the other person feels, says or does'. What came to be called 'the "hierarchy of discounts"...existence, significance, change possibilities and personal activities ' was evolved, the highest automatically including those below: 'a discount of the existence of problems is equivalent to discounting the significance'.
In a rather different usage, Alfred Adler spoke of his therapeutic technique of 'minimizing the significance of the symptoms...you must strive to debase the great significance which the neurotic attributes to his symptoms'.
'The social consensus about which feelings can be properly shown when' has been called 'display rules. One is minimizing the display of emotion...mask[ing] their upset with a poker face. Another is exaggerating what one feels by magnifying the emotional expression'.
- ^ Guerrero, L., Anderson, P., Afifi, W. (2007). Close Encounters: Communication in Relationships (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- ^ Robert Hoyk/Paul Hersey, The Ethical Executive (2008) p. 68
- ^ Hoyk/Hersey, p. 68-9
- ^ Hoyk/Hersey, p. 69
- ^ Neville Symington, Narcissism: A New Theory (London 2003) p. 116
- ^ Simon, George K. In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People (1996)
- ^ Minimization: Trivializing Behavior as a Manipulation Tactic
- ^ Discounting, Minimizing, and Trivializing
- ^ Abby Stein, Prologue to Violence (2006) p. 6
- ^ Kantor, Martin The Psychopathology of Everyday Life 2006
- ^ Blackman, Jerome 101 Defenses: How the Mind Shields Itself (2003)
- ^ E. R. Smith/D. M. Mackie, Social Psychology (Hove 2007) p. 139 and p. 136
- ^ Paul Gilbert, Overcoming Depression (London 1999) p. 63 and p. 98
- ^ Jacqui Lee Schiff, Cathexis Reader 9New York 19750 p. 84-5
- ^ R. G. Abell/C. W. Abell, Own Your Own Life (1977) p. 120-1
- ^ I. Stewart/V. Joines, TA Today (1987) p. 185 and p. 182
- ^ Stewart/Joines, p. 184-5
- ^ Alfred Adler, Superiority and Social Interset (1964) p. 192
- ^ Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 462
- ^ Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (London 1995) p. 113
- Henning, K & Holdford, R Minimization, Denial, and Victim Blaming by Batterers Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 33, No. 1, 110-130 (2006)
- Rogers, Richard & Dickey, Rob (March 1991) Denial and minimization among sex offenders Journal Sexual Abuse Vol 4, No 1: 49-63
- Scott K Denial, Minimization, Partner Blaming, and Intimate Aggression in Dating Partners Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 22, No. 7, 851-871 (2007)
Defence mechanisms Level 1 - Pathological Level 2 - Immature Level 3 - Neurotic Level 4 - Mature Others See also Abuse Types
Anti-social behaviour · Bullying · Child abuse (neglect, sexual) · Domestic abuse · Elder abuse · Harassment · Humiliation · Incivility · Institutional abuse · Intimidation · Neglect · Personal abuse · Professional abuse · Psychological abuse · Physical abuse · Sexual abuse · Spiritual abuse · Stalking · Structural abuse · Verbal abuse · more...
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder · Dehumanization · Denial · Destabilisation · Exaggeration · Grooming (adult, child) · Lying · Manipulation · Minimisation · Personality disorders · Psychological projection · Psychological trauma · Psychopathy · Rationalization · Victim blaming · Victim playing · Victimisation
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Minimisation — or minimization may refer to: The opposite of maximisation The opposite of magnification Minimisation (clinical trials) Minification (programming) Structural risk minimization In psychology: Minimisation is a defense mechanism In mathematics:… … Wikipedia
Displacement (psychology) — In Freudian psychology, displacement (German Verschiebung, shift or move ) is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind redirects effects from an object felt to be dangerous or unacceptable to an object felt to be safe or acceptable.… … Wikipedia
Compartmentalization (psychology) — Compartmentalizing is the act of splitting an idea or concept up into (sometimes more or less arbitrary) parts, and trying to enforce thought processes which are inhibiting attempts to allow these parts to mix together again. This process is… … Wikipedia
Idealization and devaluation — In psychoanalytic theory, when an individual is unable to integrate difficult feelings, specific defenses are mobilized to overcome what the individual perceives as an unbearable situation. The defense that helps in this process is called… … Wikipedia
Discounting — For discounting in the sense of downplaying or dismissing, see Minimisation (psychology). For the band of the same name, see Discount (band). See also: Discounts and allowances Discounting is a financial mechanism in which a debtor obtains the… … Wikipedia
Minification — may refer to: Magnification by a factor of less than one, producing a smaller image Minification (programming), a software coding technique Minimisation (psychology), a form of cognitive distortion This disambiguation page lists articles… … Wikipedia
Denial — For the politics of science/history and public policy, see Denialism. For other uses, see Denial (disambiguation). Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is… … Wikipedia
Rationalization (making excuses) — For other uses, see Rationalization. In psychology and logic, rationalization (or making excuses) is an unconscious defense mechanism in which perceived controversial behaviors or feelings are logically justified and explained in a rational or … Wikipedia
Domestic violence — Domestic disturbance redirects here. For the 2001 film, see Domestic Disturbance. Domestic violence Classification and external resources eMedicine article/805546 MeSH … Wikipedia
Psychological abuse — Classification and external resources ICD 10 T74.3 ICD 9 995.82 Psychological abuse, also … Wikipedia