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Interaction Processes

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Introjection is a concept of interaction between and individual and the outside world entailing the tendency of an individual to identify with external subjects in a way that their attributes become part of the individual’s views, behavior and perceptions. In this regard, a person’s ego will develop with the scope of the external object’s behavior. This interactive process is similar to projective identification in the sense that both processes entail identification with the attributes of an external object, an influence of these attributes on an individual’s personality. However, differences between introjection and projective identification arise because projective identification entails the expulsion of an undesirable attribute and into another individual so that the attribute becomes part of the individual’s personality. In this regard, projective identification is a selective process that functions within a narrower scope of the external object’s attributes as compared to introjection whereby an individual adopts attributes of an admirable object as a whole (Kilpatrick & Holland, 2008). A successful projective identification gives one party an aspect of control over the individual in question. In this regard, the individual’s behavior become subject to the subject’s projection since the individual develops a belief and acceptance of his or her role. This is not the case in introjection as the external subject’s role in interaction process is largely passive concerning the modeling of an individual’s personality.

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While introjection, projective identification and collusion have impacts on the personality of individuals due to the need maintain the image of the external subject, collusion entails significant levels of communication between an individual and the external subject. This ensures consistent maintenance of a sense of self through conveyance of information perceived as important to the sustenance of a relationship (Kilpatrick & Holland, 2008). To obtain the desired results, a collusion process requires join efforts between concerned parties. This differs from introjection and projective identification in which influences are largely single sided with one party serving the role of a receiver.

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