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Externalization means to put something outside of its original borders. Especially to put a human function outside of the human body. The opposite of internalization.

In a concrete sense, by taking notes, we can externalize the function of memory which normally belongs in the brain.

In a more abstract sense, by inventing excuses, we can externalize the guilt associated with our actions.

In Freudian psychology, externalization is a neurotic defense mechanism, where the sufferer "projects" his own internal characteristics onto the outside world, particularly onto other people. For example, a patient who is overly argumentative might instead perceive others as argumentative and himself blameless.