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Such as everyone is inwardly, so he judgeth outwardly.

—Thomas à Kempis, 1441/1864, p. 88

The capacity of an individual to accurately appraise the experiences of other people is an essential component of empathy and sound human relationships. The attribution of certain qualities to others as a result of one's own subjective functioning contributes to identifying and understanding mutual perspectives. At the same time, however, an individual's perceptions may be distorted to such an extent that judgments about others may lack accuracy. When using the defense mechanism of projection, a person's assumptions about the motivations of other people may proceed more from avoiding threat than attempting to communicate objectively. Conflicted behavior is essentially disowned and attributed to others, who are then viewed as responsible for creating ...

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