Denial is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true.
The words denial and abnegation are used to describe a psychological defense mechanism postulated by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. A n individual who exhibits such behavior is described as a denialist.
Denial also could mean denying the occurrence of an event or the reliability of information, which can lead to a feeling of aloofness and to ignoring possibly beneficial information.
The subject may use:
- simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
- minimization: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)
- projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility by blaming somebody or something else