1 definition by Mindmathics - Therese

The Porcupine Effect
The Porcupine Effect is defined as the behavior that is modeled when a person within a relationship or system anticipates the need for self defense due to frequent reoccurrence of the experience of psychological pain/rejection in that system or relationship. This presents itself in a overly (more than usual) cautious approach where people’s natural initiative and leadership is restricted. Behavior is adapted to be more protective than usual.

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The Porcupine Effect is when a person's behavior is adapted to be more protective than usual for example in the work place: confirm verbal discussions through a written email summary, or refrain from taking decision on their own but instead put their ideas in writing as a proposal, or only act on their decision once it has been approved by the group. This leads to a psychological energy drain to build defense instead of using your inherent creative and leadership potential. An extreme example of this behavior in highschool is where the behavior turns into avoidance of the person causing the psychological pain such as when two friends hide in the hallway or washroom from a third person who inflicts the pain.
by Mindmathics - Therese November 23, 2010

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