Displacement Activity

Well, this explains a few things in my past...
Displacement Activity is when an animal feels two (or more) very strong competing behavioral motivations and ends up doing a third, unrelated behavior. It also occurs when an animal has a strong motivation from one behavior but is blocked from performing that behavior.

One quoted example: ‘two skylarks engaged in furious combat [may] suddenly peck at the ground as if they were feeding’

Displacement Activity is primarily seen in animals, but has been documented in humans (we are animals, after all).

An example in humans is how when some people see little kittens or puppies they will exclaim: "I could just squeeze him all up!".


Reading some about Displacement Activity really brings some instances in my past into light including some weird instances where I would do or say something out of left field when talking to people (especially people of the girl persuasion). I have never been very good around females, and thinking back I can clearly see how something like Displacement Activity caused me to stumble even worse.

There are several incidents that make me wonder how my life would have run out differently if I had been more aware of this phenomena... I may not have been able to stop the activity, but at least if I had been aware of it I could have understood what was happening and possibly mitigated the damage...

Just more curious things to think about as one wanders along in life.

- sroberts

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Page last modified on June 15, 2015