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According to the Freudian psychology, the displacement theory coins the idea of the mind mechanism of keeping or disposing of information in human mind. This unconscious process happens within and the transference of emotions, ideas, and information happens to alleviate fretfulness.

displacement effect theory

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The concept were similar to dream distortion were the newer taught replaced the unimportant information and this transference of emotions that occur during various situations can be psychologically termed as displacement effect.

Displacement Effect Theory

Displacement effects theory states that the human mind has a defense mechanism which involuntarily displaces the effects from an individual or anything which are felt unacceptable to another situation which the mind distinguished more acceptable. This unconscious activity which occurs in the mind finds a satisfying alternative to the basic objective and is basically done to relieve stress and other tensions.

The displacement effects acts like a cycle. The human mind unconsciously finds itself a solution for the problem which causes the stress and to alleviate the situation the displacement occurs to a situation or to an entity which can be of little or no relevance.

Displacement effects can be seen in the situations leading to anger and this can only be resolved through anger otherwise the effects can grow overtime. In most of the cases the effect of the emotion is let out to the target or to a safer alternative.

Displacement effects can be a common issue in many cases and the effects can be minor in most of the cases. But the extreme effects of displacement effects can be dangerous and is considered a psychotic problem that may need to be seriously evaluated and treated. Psychologists can treat with methods to control the emotions with more effective ways of dealing and to overcome this situation.

Scope and Application

Displacement effects can be applied while dealing with anger management. The target of a person’s anger is significant before reacting and the anger when displayed at certain situations can be harmful. Showing out the emotion to people prominent can cause hassles and thus to avoid that the situation anger can be properly channeled to avoid any disputes which can cause fretfulness.


Working in a real estate firm, Tina had tough time achieving targets. Apart of that she had to deal with a strict boss. She was confronted each day with fierce screaming from her boss which made her life weary. As she began to build up the anger towards her boss, she unknowingly let out her stress to the bartender later at night.

The bartender went home with a spoiled mood because his routine customer yelled at him without a reason. By seeing the pile of unwashed dishes he screamed at his girlfriend who was busy with her work.

For not able to prepare for the next day, the girlfriend went to school and yelled at a student who forgot to bring her assignment. The troubled child went home to her dad and let out her anger for not being home early.  And thus the cycle continues. It is likely for people to take out the anger to the person who is a safer substitute.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • qwerty August 21, 2018, 7:26 am

    who proposed the theory of displacement and what year?

  • yecenia hernandez October 12, 2022, 1:06 am

    His hands gestured to me they were never injested until his blood spills the drink….

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