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Learned Behavior    Emotion       Emotional Habits   

Searching Google for "displacement" located 38,000,000 references: 

Displacement (psychology) - Wikipedia 
    "In Freudian psychology, displacement (German: Verschiebung, "shift, move") is an unconscious defense mechanism whereby the mind substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable.[1]

A term originating with Sigmund Freud,[2] displacement operates in the mind unconsciously, its transference of emotions, ideas, or wishes being most often used to allay anxiety in the face of aggressive or sexual impulses.  


    The aggressive drive – mortido – may be displaced quite as much as the libidinal. Business or athletic competition, or hunting, for example, offer plentiful opportunities for the expression of displaced mortido.[12]

In such scapegoating, aggression may be displaced onto people with little or no connection with what is causing anger. Some people punch cushions when they are angry at friends; a college student may snap at his or her roommate when upset about an exam grade.

Displacement can act in a chain-reaction, with people unwittingly becoming both victims and perpetrators of displacement. For example, a man is angry with his boss, but he cannot express this so he hits his wife. The wife hits one of the children, possibly disguising this as punishment (rationalization).

Ego psychology sought to use displacement in child rearing, a dummy being used as a displaced target for toddler sibling rivalry.[13] 

    Scapegoating (from the verb "to scapegoat") is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat.[1] Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals (e.g. "he did it, not me!"), individuals against groups (e.g., "I couldn't see anything because of all the tall people"), groups against individuals (e.g., "Jane was the reason our team didn't win"), and groups against groups.

A scapegoat may be an adult, child, sibling, employee, peer, ethnic, political or religious group, or country. A whipping boy, identified patient or "fall guy" are forms of scapegoat.

Displacement - Changing Minds 
    Displacement is the shifting of actions from a desired target to a substitute target when there is some reason why the first target is not permitted or not available.
    Displacement may involve retaining the action and simply shifting the target of that action. Where this is not feasible, the action itself may also change. Where possible the second target will resemble the original target in some way.
    Phobias may also use displacement as a mechanism for releasing energy that is caused in other ways.
    The boss gets angry and shouts at me. I go home and shout at my wife. She then shouts at our son. With nobody left to displace anger onto, he goes and kicks the dog.
    A man wins the lottery. He turns to the person next to him and gives the person a big kiss.
    A boy is afraid of horses. It turns out to be a displaced fear of his father.
    I want to speak at a meeting but cannot get a word in edgeways. Instead, I start scribbling furiously.
    A religious person who is sexually frustrated focuses their attention on food, becoming a gourmet.
    A woman, rejected by her boyfriend, goes out with another man 'on the rebound'.  

    Displacement occurs when the Id wants to do something of which the Super ego does not permit. The Ego thus finds some other way of releasing the psychic energy of the Id. Thus there is a transfer of energy from a repressed object-cathexis to a more acceptable object.
    Displaced actions tend to be to into related areas or subjects. If I want to shout at a person but feel that I cannot, then shouting at somebody else is preferred to going to play the piano, although this may still be used if there is no other way I can release my anger.
    Displacements are often quite satisfactory and workable mechanisms for releasing energy more safely.
    Dreams can be interpreted as the displacement of stored tensions into other forms (dreams are often highly metaphoric).
    Displacement is one of Anna Freud's original defense mechanisms.  

So what?
    When people do strange things, work with them to find if there are other places from which they are displacing their energy - then deal with the real reason, not the displaced reason.  
See also
    Avoidance, Fantasy, Projection, Somatization

Defense Mechanisms  
    Displacement is the redirection of an impulse (usually aggression) onto a powerless substitute target.  The target can be a person or an object that can serve as a symbolic substitute.  Someone who feels uncomfortable with their sexual desire for a real person may substitute a fetish.  Someone who is frustrated by his or her superiors may go home and kick the dog, beat up a family member, or engage in cross-burnings. 

Searching PubMed for "displacement" located 94,414 references: 

Searching PubMed for "displacement psychology" located 2,707 references:   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Displacement+psychology   

Searching PubMed for "displacement anger" located 50 references:  

    Surprisingly, there was nothing here of any relevance.   

Searching PubMed for "displacement aggression" located 192 references:  

Aggression   . 

1972    180<192     
Aggression, displacement, and guilt.  
No Abstract, but I thought some of the Similar Articles might be interesting. 
    113 Similar Articles
Unfortunately, they weren't.  Many didn't even have abstracts, and none of them considered the underlying physiology.   

Displacement MDF
170821 - 2022