The German word for bite reflex, Beißreflex, has an additional figurative sense. Let's say Herr Ausraster has a massive hatred for the Ecological Democratic Party. Every time he reads something on a news site about the party, be it totally trivial and/or inoffensive, he simply has to write rants about this party. Herr Ausraster has a Beißreflex regarding this party.

So I'd like to know whether there is a word that does not just mean hating sth./so., but "acting knee-jerk fashion" when confronted with that person/thing etc. For example "As to the Democrats/Republicans/Libertarian Party, Jules has an XY (Beißreflex) — every time he reads about them on the website of the Podunk Enquirer, he writes offensive rants resulting in the deletion of his posts."

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    Your term comes close - knee-jerk reaction is idiomatic in English, though not necessarily about wanting to settle scores.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 17 '17 at 11:34
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    Yep, "knee-jerk reaction" is probably a close match. Refers to the lower-leg jerking outward when the doc taps your knee with that rubber hammer.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 17 '17 at 11:44
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    Also relevant is Pavolian response. In contrast to knee-jerk reaction it implies the behaviour is learned even though it becomes automatic. Jun 17 '17 at 11:45
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    @SteveLovell Don't you mean Pavlovian? Or did some Pavol also do research in this field?
    – oerkelens
    Jun 17 '17 at 11:54
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    Oops yes Pavlovian response, sorry. Thanks @oerkelens. Jun 17 '17 at 11:56

Visceral adjective vis·cer·al \ˈvi-sə-rəl, ˈvis-rəl\

2: not intellectual; instinctive, unreasoning.

"Herr Ausraster has a visceral response regarding this party."

I am not sure there is a single word in English, but I believe this is less idiomatic than "knee-jerk"


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