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Regression has a number of meanings in psychology.

  • Age regression (general).In general terms it relates to a return to an immature way of feeling, thinking or acting, usually under stressful circumstances. In this sense the regression is an expression of the stress and may be seen as a learned response. For example irrational anger may have worked when you were a child and you try it as an adult to get your way.
  • Regression (psychoanalysis). In its more technical sense regression is a defense mechanism in psychoanalysis,in which a person adopts an immature way of feeling , acting or thinking, in order to reduce their anxiety. In this sense the emphasis is on the defensive function of the response to protect the internal state.
  • Regression (reading) in reading regression is the tendency to rescan text already read which reduces reading speed.
  • Regression (statistics) in statistics regression is a technique for examining the relationship between one or more independent variables and a dependent variable