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Scapegoats R Us

Updated on April 16, 2011
The typical scapegoater thinks their baaaaaaaaaaaad to the bone.
The typical scapegoater thinks their baaaaaaaaaaaad to the bone.

A scapegoat, in psychology, is a term used broadly to denote the phenomenon of blaming another person or group of persons for one's own shortcomings and frustrations.

Thus, the practice is a form of projection. The person or group who are recipients of the blame may be chosen for traditional reasons or because they are relatively defenseless.

The choice of the scapegoat is an irrational process, here are just a few scenarios:

  • The batter who strikes out at a crucial point in a baseball game may accuse the umpire of unfairness rather than admit his own lack of skill.
  • The person who fails to achieve an ambition may project his self-esteem by blaming a race or an ethnic group rather than confess his own incompetence.
  • The troll who loses his temper online and is banned and blames the people he was harassing.

The scapegoat is, therefore, a convenient alibi for want of success. Young children soon learn from their elders that some racial or ethnic groups are traditionally regarded as acceptable victims of aggressions and hates arising from frustrations. Such traditions may be exploited in times of stress by political groups. An example of such a phenomenon was the anti-Semitic policy of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930's and 1940's.

A special type of scapegoating is to blame others for moral lapses, real or fancied, which the "scapegoater" would actually like to commit. His own sense of guilt or unconscious envy of the supposed offender, who may be quite innocent, causes the "scapegoater" to demand harsh retaliative action. Vituperation or even physical acts of hostility may be directed against the scapegoat in the vain hope of regaining or finding peace of mind.


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    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

      Thanks ninjas for validating my anger and explaining that which I need to know



    • Several Ninjas profile image

      Several Ninjas 6 years ago

      some people are just bitter and twisted all the time. a victim of their own shortcomings as a human being. they try and be nice to peoples faces but then they stab them in the back. they talk about karma as if its on their side. but the fact is, i'm the main dish that karma is serving up. he who has mocked is being mocked and he don't like it.

      and yes, the perpetual thrower of flounces has been doing this "i'm leaving" routine like a scratched record. even those times he said he had left he was still reading every word being said on the profles he was stalking and on the forum. and then all of a sudden he's back! with a new profile that just so happens was created before the last one was crashed and burned.

      the longer he sticks around the more of a pathetic fool he shows himself to be to those he counts as fans and followers. as he has no friends.

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

      scapegoats and cowards I suppose are hand in hand. Sad really. I mean to watch someone constantly be hustling for the next way out of nowhere. hmm...

      Oh hon, loved the hub on group therapy, not sure if you want to add it but I had to do extensive work in Art therapy classes. Sadly they just ended up being a means to buy time get dirty and trash our work

      just fyi

      another hub rated up!