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Id, Ego and Superego Essay

According to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, personality is composed of three elements. These three elements of personality, known as the id, the ego and the superego, work together to create human behaviors. According to Freud, we are born with our Id. The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation. When a child is hungry, the id wants food, and therefore the child cries, when the child needs to be changed, the id cries.

The id speaks up until his or her needs are met. The id doesn’t care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction. If you think about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents’ wishes. They have no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing. When the id wants something, nothing else is important. The ego is the component of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality. According to Freud, the ego develops from the id and ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run.

The ego functions in the conscious (includes everything that we are aware of), preconscious (is a part of the mind that corresponds to ordinary memory. These memories are not conscious, but we can regain them to conscious awareness at any time), and unconscious (reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness) The last component of personality to develop is the superego. This is the aspect of personality that holds all of our affected moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society. The superego provides guidelines for making judgments. According to Freud the superego begins around age of five.

Two parts of superego

The ego ideal includes the rules and standards of good behaviour. These behaviors include those which are approved of by parental and other authority figures. Obeying these rules leads to feelings of pride, value and accomplishment. The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad by parents and society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments or feelings of guilt.

Your ego might say, “I will have sex only occasionally and be sure to take the proper precautions because I don’t want the disturbance of a child in the development of my career.” However, your id is saying, “I want to be satisfied; sex is pleasurable.” Your superego is at work, too: “I feel guilty about having sex before I’m married.”


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