An explanation in which apparently logical reasons are given to justify unacceptable behavior. In psychoanalytical theory, such an outlook is regarded as a defense mechanism against feelings of guilt.

RATIONALIZATION: "When he said he did it so that he would fit in with the group, Melvin was merely rationalizing."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "RATIONALIZATION," in PsychologyDictionary.org, April 28, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/rationalization/ (accessed May 15, 2021).