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Rationalization is a defense mechanism identified by Freud. According to Freud when people are not able to deal with the reasons they behave in particular ways, they protect themselves by creating self-justifying explanations for their behaviors. For example, if I flunk out of school because I didn't study properly it might be so hard for me to deal with that I rationalize my behaviors by saying that I simply didn't have enough time to study because I have a full-time job, a baby at home, and so many other demands on my time.