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Noun: reaction formation
  1. (psychiatry) a defence mechanism in which a person unconsciously develops attitudes and behaviour that are the opposite of unacceptable repressed desires and impulses and serve to conceal them
    "his strict morality is just a reaction formation to hide his sexual drive"

Derived forms: reaction formations

Type of: defence [Brit, Cdn], defence mechanism [Brit, Cdn], defence reaction [Brit, Cdn], defense [US], defense mechanism [US], defense reaction [US]

Encyclopedia: Reaction formation