In psychology, sublimation is a coping mechanism.
Sublimation is the refocusing of psychic energy (which Sigmund Freud believed was limited) away from negative outlets to more positive outlets. For example, a student who has a major upcoming test, rather than spending time and energy worrying about it, would rechannel that time and energy into studying. In Freud's classic theory, erotic energy is only allowed limited expression due to repression, and much of the remainder of a given group's erotic energy is used to develop its culture and civilization.
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