Common Defense Mechanisms of Filipinos
Nathalie Franz Ruin*, Amante T. Ama
Engineeering and Science Education Program
Camarines Sur National High School
Peñafrancia Ave., Naga City
*Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Defense Mechanisms are automatic psychological processes that
protect individuals against anxiety or formstressors. A survey with 15 questions
based from the Defense Style Questionnaires that corresponds to each common
defense mechanism was conducted to 10 respondents.Dissociation was found to
be most common defense mechanism. Based from the Defensive Functioning
Scale, it is at the level of neurotic defense that enables breaking off part of
memory, consciousness, or perception of self or the environment to avoid a
problem situation. It was concluded that most Filipinos are still not mature
enough to deal with the stress they are going through.
Keywords: Defense Mechanism, Defense Style Questionnaire, Defensive Functioning Scale
Persons are commonly affected by physical, mental, emotional, and social factors. In order for persons not
to have impulsive reactions, emotional distress and any threat to one’s self-esteem, even to avoid unwanted thoughts
and memories, defense mechanisms are used. Defense Mechanisms are any cluster of mental processes that enables
our minds to have solutions to conflicts that were not resolved. It is usually unconsciously done by persons and was
used to protect them from feeling of any anxiety or guilt, which arises whenever they feel threatened, or for the
reason that their egos become too demanding . Psychological defense mechanisms are an important capacity to
maintain emotional equilibrium. Without it, their minds and ego are much vulnerable to negative thoughts about
them which include the anxiety and sadness. There are many types of defense mechanisms and usage of it is
completely normal and natural unless excessive practice might be symptoms for psychological disorders .
Defense Mechanisms are quite helpful and often told to be healthy if they all appear in the behaviour of
normal healthy persons.But if the defence became overactive or persistent,it might be damaging as they require a
lot of mental effort to sustain it. With this, it can be a strategy for hiding from anxiety and blind us from true feelings
and motives. Usage of Defense Mechanismgenerally allows people to channel negative and destructive feelings or
behaviours into more appropriate and positive. It might bring pleasure to both the userand to society at large or none
at all .
Filipinos on the other hand are well-known for their hospitality. They are usually happy people. Their
behaviors in dealing problems especially with emotional crisis, might account themfor the defense mechanisms they
often use. A way to determine the defense mechanism used is by responding to the Defense Style Questionnaires
(DSQ) and by looking through the Defense Functioning Scale (DFS). DSQ and DFS measure the defensive
functioning, the level and the coping styles of a person. Through answering those questionnaires, the level and
common defense style a Filipino uses will be established.
2. Materials and Methods
A survey consists of 15 questions that match up with 15 different defense mechanisms will be conducted to
10 persons. Questions were randomly picked from the Defense Style Questionnaire. The respondents are asked to
check on how they deal with the example situations. There was no fixed time used in the process. Thus the result
will be plotted on a bar graph.
Common Defense Mechanism Result
3. Results and Discussion
The graph shown illustrates the responds afterthe survey.It shows that the highest number of responds to
the 14th example situation that corresponds to the “Dissociation”(10/10) defense while the “Pseudo-Altruism”(2/10)
defense is the least.
Each defense mechanism has different levels according to the Defensive Functioning Scale, the mechanism
may be in the Pathological, Immature, Neurotic and Mature level. The Dissociation is included in the neurotic level
which is said to have short-term advantages in coping, but often causes long-term problems in relationships, work,
Fig. 1: A bar graph of the Defense Mechanism Survey
and enjoyment of life for people and also with the world. This defense temporarily modifies one's personalidentity
or character to avoid emotional distress.
Comparing with the Pseudo-Altruism defense,Altruism is on the mature level. Defenses on this level are
much healthier and considered the “most” mature type of defense. Even gives the usera feeling of pleasure when
In the 15- questions survey,2 defenses (Denial & Splitting) are on the Pathological level, 3 defenses (
Somatization, Projection and Acting Out) is included in the Immature level, 6 defenses ( Reaction Formation,
Isolation, Displacement, Rationalization, Undoing and Dissociation) are part of the Neurotic level while the Mature
level comprises of 4 defenses ( Suppresion, Humor, Anticipation and Pseudo-Altruism).
It is concluded that the defense style “Dissociation” is the most common type of defense mechanism the
Filipino uses.Even if Filipinos often showed happy attitudes and hospitable trait, they are not very well in dealing
personal problems. Based from the defensive functioning scale, it is part of the neurotic level that is not so healthy
defense mechanism if compared to the mature level.
Filipinos are often positive and has a well-being but whenever they had problems, they must deal with it on
a very optimistic way. They must be mature enough in dealing with difficult situations they are in to prevent the
chances of having psychologicaldisorders or worse, the mental illnesses.
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