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1. in psychoanalytic theory, the ego’s development of opposed but coexisting attitudes toward a phenomenon, whether in the normal, neurotic, or psychotic person. In the normal context, ego-splitting can be seen in the critical attitude of the self toward the self; in neuroses, contrary attitudes toward particular behaviors are fundamental; and in psychoses, ego-splitting may produce an “observing” part of the individual that sees and can report on delusional phenomena.

2. in the object relations theory of Melanie Klein and British psychoanalyst W. Ronald D. Fairbairn (1889–1964), fragmentation of the ego in which parts that are perceived as bad are split off from the main ego as a mechanism of protection. See also splitting.

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Psychology term of the day

February 24th 2024

test interpretation

test interpretation

the clinical, educational, vocational, or other practical inferences given to a particular test result. Such conclusions are typically drawn by an expert in testing or by suitable computer software.