Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Displacement (Defense Mechanism)


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is displacement (defense mechanism). While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how displacement (defense mechanism) will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a tradition question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


Question # 1

During morning rounds, a medical student is asked by the senior resident to describe the differential diagnosis of chest pain. After listing a few diagnosis, but failing to mention pneumothorax, the resident sarcastically asks “What year of medical school are you in? When I was in med school I could recite this without even thinking about it!”  The medical student is upset by the comment, and goes home at the end of the day dreading future interactions with the resident. Earlier that day the resident was “chewed out” by the chief of the service for making a mistake when caring for a patient. The resident did not agree with the chief’s assessment but said nothing. Which of the following defense mechanisms is exhibited by the resident toward the medial student?

Question # 2

A young man gets into an argument with his professor at his unviersity. Although he si very upset, he remains silent when she criticizes him severely and calls him a failure as a student and as a person. Once he gets home to his dorm, he picks a fight with his roommate over nothing and begins yelling at him. What type of defense mechanism is being displayed here?



Page Updated: 09.14.2016