Freudian Projection: An Evolutionary Explanation

Some interesting research has been attempting to give an evolutionary psychology explanation for psychological projection.

Using Silence of the Lambs, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead and Koyaanisqatsi, no less.

We project emotions on others based on our own emotional state, but those projections are functional: We don’t project fear if we’re afraid — we project anger, the object of our fear. And this fear depends in large part on our pre-existing biases. If we’re predisposed to see a member of a particular group as threatening, then we’re likely to project anger on that person, based on our fear of that group.