Splitting & Projection – Critical Social Psychology (16/30)

Splitting & Projection – Critical Social Psychology (16/30)


Splitting is one of the earliest and most
primitive psychic defence mechanisms and really it’s
about splitting the world and the self into either all good or all bad, so the objects
are perceived as either all good or all bad. It’s one of the defence mechanisms that we employ in
the earliest days of lives really, to cope with a kind of very uncertain environment. Whenever we think of people in not complex,
not nuanced ways, but as one thing or another, good or bad, then we’re doing splitting. It’s not something that’s just confined
to infants, splitting is a psychic mechanism, kind of
carries on throughout of our lives really. The concept of splitting is really helpful in social research because you can often see
that people idealise one group of people or one person and denigrate others, and for what seems
not necessarily good reasons. So that the concept of splitting can give you one way of accounting for what’s going on. Projection is a psychic defence mechanism
that’s useful in defending us from difficult knowledge that we’d rather really not know
about ourselves. And those might be kind of thoughts or feelings or attributes of the
self that set up conflicts. And here I’m referring to
things like hatred or envy, greed, weakness or dependence or incompetence, stupidity,
or unacceptable desires. In order to unconsciously
defend ourselves against the anxiety that that knowledge about the self could produce, we can project, literally expel those parts of the self into an object that’s kind of over there. Now that object could be a person, but it could just as easily be a thing or a place
or even a political party or an ethnic group, a racial
group, or a whole country. When they’re placed out
of our way then we can punish them and revile them safely, because now they belong to somebody else. It is actually also possible to project nice qualities into people. Some people cannot
take notions of themselves being really good at
something or nice qualities, they can’t stand praise
for example. And they might project those qualities also into other people and see other
people as ideal. But it’s quite common to project very bad qualities into other people. And for social psychoanalytic research we need to
be aware of the concept so that we can see when
people’s accounts are not straight forward because they frequently aren’t, but are
affected for example, by these twin processes of splitting
and projection.

Comments

(13 Comments)

  • Melissa

    I'm not a psyche student or anything but I think what you're referring to is the point when splitting has manifested as a defense mechanism/coping strategy. There is prob also an element of disassociation. I believe that when an event is very traumatic the individual starts splitting in order to rationalize and make sense of it all. If the trauma occurs early in life before these concepts are established (development), it may manifest in personality. I think we split and then project?

  • Melissa

    My point, I don't think you have it wrong 🙂 There seems to be several ways of applying the splitting theory. Whew, nothing like a little psyche before your morning coffee lol!

  • Noel Ferguson

    I like this. I get clearer look into behavioral patterns I have experienced.

  • Robert Paulson

    It's Bush's fault

  • Robert Paulson

    It's Obama's fault

  • StephenAndrew777

    So thoughtfully explained…

  • Dwayne Knight

    I'd like to know more about splitting. I see a lot of it I think.I hope I'm not doing it much.

  • Matthew Morton

    You have to wonder how projection fits into psychological evolution. If we live and die by the group, wouldn't being self-aware be considered as an amazingly beneficial tool for survival? In-group fighting can have a lot of negative consequences and they generally seem to stem from individuals incapable of self-awareness. But, because of man's almost innate need for external control, self-awareness becomes the biggest threat to that desire, but now we have "artificial selection" in a population because a leader might deem slave-type qualities as redeemable, and the females of that population will then largely mate with those who posses the socially desirable traits. Now men's minds are being crafted towards a common goal, however, that traits usefulness for "survival" is largely questionable since it's selection is "artificial", whereas, all other selections in its environment have been through natural selection.

    Good lord, the amount of questions that rise from social and individual psychology when you make just a SINGLE claim…..

  • i am that I am

    1:21

  • i am that I am

    1:14

  • Karina Guerra

    i like the concept of splitting , i tend to think of wars for instance, how we can side with one group and hate the other

  • Ken Richard

    "Denigrate," to blacken. See how splitting works? Throwing shade,, blackmail, black heart, black balled, dark days, darken, dark, stain, shadow, etc.,. You hear splitting taking place all of the time on radio programs, thinly veiled appeals to prejudice couched in such terms that suggest, "I didn't say it. He said it. I'm just repeating what he said." Followed by a racially offensive remark, or scenario in which some black person is being scapegoated by the host.

  • StephenAndrew777

    Giving a group priority over each individual in it is pretty black and white.

  • Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *