Signifies the transveying of a subjective process into an object. It is the opposite of introjection (q.v.). Accordingly, projection is a process of dissimilation wherein a subjective content is estranged from the subject and, in a sense, incorporated in the object. There are painful, incompatible contents of which the subject unburdens himself by projection, just as there are also positive values which for some reason are uncongenial to the subject; as, for instance, the consequences of self-deprecation. Projection is based upon the archaic identity (q.v.) of subject and object, but the term is used only when the necessity has already arisen for resolving the identity with the object. This necessity arises when the identity is disturbing, i.e. when, through the absence of the projected content, the process of adaptation is materially prejudiced, so that the restoration of the projected content becomes desirable to the subject. From this moment the hitherto partial identity maintains the character of projection. This expression, therefore, denotes a state of identity which has become noticeable, and, therefore, the object of criticism, whether it be the self-criticism of the subject or the objective criticism of another.
We may discriminate between passive and active projection. The former is the customary form of every pathological and many normal projections; it springs from no purpose and is a purely automatic occurrence. The latter form is an essential constituent of the act of feeling-into. Feeling-into (q.v.), as a whole, is a process of introjection, since it serves to bring the object into an intimate relation with the subject. In order to establish this relation, the subject detaches a content (a feeling, for instance) from himself; he then transveys it into, therewith animating, the object, which he thus relates to the subjective sphere.
The active form of projection, however, is also an act of judgment which aims at a separation of subject and object. In this case a subjective judgment is detached from the subject as a valid statement of the case, and is transveyed into the object; by so doing the subject distinguishes himself from the object. Accordingly, projection is a process of introversion, since, in contrast to introjection, it leads not to a linking-up and assimilation but to a differentiation and separation of subject from object. Hence it plays a leading part in paranoia, which usually ends in a total isolation of the subject.