Sigmund Freud's Idea of Id, Ego and Superego

651 Words3 Pages
Sigmund Freud's Idea of Id, Ego and Superego Perhaps Freud's single most enduring and important idea was that the human psyche has more than one aspect. Freud (1923b) saw the psyche structured into three parts (i.e. tripartite), the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.These are systems, not parts of the brain, or in any way physical. Freud divided the mind into three parts, id, ego, and super-ego. Each part of the mind is responsible for something different. Id and super-ego are comparable to the angel and devil sitting on one's shoulders telling one right and wrong. The id The id consists of all the inherited (i.e. biological) components of personality, including the sex (life) instinct – Eros (which contains the libido), and aggressive (death) instinct - Thanatos. The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts. The personality of the newborn child is all id and only later does it develop ego and super-ego. The id demands immediate satisfaction and when this happens we experience pleasure, when it is denied we experience ‘unpleasure’ or pain. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world. On the contrary, it operates on the pleasure principle (Freud, 1920g) which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. The Ego Initially the ego is “that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world” (Freud 1923). The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. Ideally the ego works by reason whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. The ego operates according to the reality principle, working our realistic ways of satisfying the id’s
Open Document