In order to correctly establish the meaning of the term rationalization, it is important to begin knowing its etymological origin. Thus, in this sense, we can determine that it derives from Latin as it is composed of elements from that language:
-The noun “ratio”, which can be translated as “reason”.
- ”- izare”, which is used as a synonym for “convert into”.
-The suffix "-cion", which is used to indicate "action and effect".
It is known as rationalization to the process and the result from rationalize . This verb, meanwhile, refers to the optimization of times, costs or efforts based on planning; or to the reduction of some concept to a rational notion . In the field of math , rationalize is the elimination of radicals which are in the denominator of a fractional number.
For example: “We have to analyze the process to achieve the rationalization of production”, “The lecturer expressed himself with his opinions, but I need the rationalization of the explained”, “The evaluation will include several rationalization exercises of binomials”.
He psychoanalysis , on the other hand, speaks of rationalization as one of the unconscious defense mechanisms That a person has. This mechanism is set in motion when an individual intends to justify, from a logical level, some action or emotion that, without the corresponding rational justification, would cause some conflict (guilt, uncertainty, etc.).
With rationalization, the person he self-convinces himself of his justification: he does not use a lie or an excuse, but instead develops an unconscious mechanism that allows him to rationalize what has been done and keeps it in conformity.
Suppose that, in a couple bond, a man makes "jokes" constant to his wife, through which he transmits criticism and negative comments. Before the complaints of his wife, the man defends himself by claiming that they are only jokes, and not recognizing that he is assaulting his partner for some reason. In this way, the individual appeals to rationalization.
There are many other examples that can serve to understand how the human being uses what is the rationalization in their day to day to try to justify or find an explanation why he acts in one way or another. Thus, a person who is clearly diagnosed as obsessive neurotic with regard to cleanliness and hygiene habits can argue their attitudes by stating that this is because hygiene standards are essential for optimal and adequate health and that responds to medical criteria.
In the same way, someone who manifests himself as a homophobe can rationalize his attitude by stating that homosexuality does not contribute to reproduction and, therefore, does not help "continue the species."
In addition to the rationalization as a defense mechanism that the human being uses from a psychological point of view, we should emphasize that he also resorts to the use of others such as identification, which helps him strengthen his self-esteem; the displacement of emotional feelings; projection, reactive training or what is known as regression.