Identification is an unconscious process driven by the motivation to avoid emotional stress.
Identification is a type of immature defense mechanism; Other important immature defense mechanisms are projection, idealization, fixation, displacement, splitting, dissociation, rationalization, acting out, passive-aggressiveness, and denial. Immature psychological defense mechanisms are psychological processes that play an important role in suppressing emotional awareness and increase the risk of various medical conditions. These patients are more likely to lead unhealthy lifestyles and use food and drugs to cope with external stressors.
In simple words, identification can be summarized as a process in which a person is unconsciously mimicking another person. It is an unconscious assumption of the characteristics, qualities, or traits of another person; the person is usually more powerful or possesses some desired personal attributes.
Example 1: A medical student starts putting his stethoscope in his pocket like his favorite senior resident. Example 2: An extreme example of identification is the Stockholm Syndrome, where hostages establish an emotional bond with their captors and take on their behaviors.
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