KNEE-JERK REACTION Examples – Definition & Meaning

KNEE-JERK REACTION Examples – Definition & Meaning

This video gives the origin, definition and meaning of KNEE-JERK REACTION. From its roots in physiology in the late nineteenth century, the term now has a common figurative meaning.

Here is a transcript of the video:

Slide 2:
The meaning of a KNEE-JERK REACTION:

a predictable, instinctive, automatic reaction

In physiology, knee-jerk refers to the patellar* reflex, which was discovered and named in 1876.
*patellar: a small bone in front of the knee joint
When a doctor taps this bone, the lower leg normally extends automatically.
Since the 1960s, knee-jerk has been used figuratively to refer to a predictable, automatic response of a person to a problem.

The clipart shows a doctor tapping a patient’s knee.

Slide 3:
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Let’s now consider examples of KNEE-JERK REACTION

Slide 4:
The picture shows the famous incident at the 2022 Oscars ceremony.

Sentence example: Some actors defended Will Smith by saying his slap was just a knee-jerk reaction to Chris Rock’s joke about his wife.

Slide 5:
In the picture we see a driver hitting his car horn.

Sentence example: Try to avoid a knee-jerk reaction when another driver annoys you as the other driver might retaliate and cause a bigger problem.

Slide 6:
The picture shows a graph from the financial markets.

Sentence example: There is often a knee-jerk reaction in financial markets to news of military action, natural disasters, or election results.

Slide 7:
So remember, when you want to describe a person’s response to a situation or problem as instinctive, predictable, or automatic, you may wish to call it a “knee-jerk reaction”.

Slide 8:
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Image Credits

Slide 4 – Will Smith
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Slide 5 – driver
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Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Slide 6 – financial markets
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Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

Be sure to check this video with more new words that have come into English in recent decades:
The Origin & Definition of USER-FRIENDLY

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