A hospital patient walks toward the nurse's station and observes the nurse talking on the telephone. A few minutes later, the patient accuses the nurse of having called the police. The nurse should interpret this behavior as

Ideas of reference.


• Ideas of reference are a common symptom in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. The person interprets an event occurring in the environment as having particular significance or reference to themselves.

• Incorrect: Transference is the unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another, often from a relationship in the past.

• Incorrect: Reaction formation is a defensive mechanism of acting the opposite of what one thinks or feels in an exaggerated manner.

• Incorrect: Projection is an unconscious blaming of one's own unacceptable attributes or thoughts on someone else.

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