Repression is generally associated with Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and is considered a defensive psychological process that involves turning away from threatening information and preventing it from becoming consciously known. Freud initially believed that the targets of repression were memories of traumatic situations, specifically memories of childhood sexual experiences that became reactivated at puberty. After rejecting this view, Freud, in his mature theory, proposed that instinctual impulses (wishes and fantasy) were repressed due to psychological conflict, consequent on anxiety generated by real or imagined threats of punishment. Many psychoanalytic theorists now propose that repression targets threats to self-esteem and/or object relations (self and other relationships); in general psychology, repression is most commonly associated with the motivated forgetting of traumatic experiences, as implicated in the debate ...

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