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Freud’s Id, Ego & Superego. Freud came to see personality as having three aspects: * The Id * The Ego * The Superego All 3 components need to be well-balanced in order to have good mental health.

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Freud’s Id, Ego & Superego

  • Freud came to see personality as having three aspects:
  • * The Id
  • * The Ego
  • * The Superego
  • All 3 components need to be well-balanced in order to have good mental health.
  • According to Freud, the psychological conflict between the Id and the Superego, negotiated by the Ego is one of the fundamental psychological battles all people face.
  • The way in which a person resolves the “instant gratification versus longer-term reward” dilemma comes to reflect on their character.

The Id

  • Functions in the irrational and emotionalpart of the mind
  • At birth, a baby’s mind is all Id (want, want, want)
  • The Id is the primitive mind
  • It contains all the basic needs and feelings
  • It has only one rule: the “pleasure principle” (I want it and I want it now)
  • Id too strong = bound up in self-gratification and uncaring to others

The Ego

  • Functions with the rationalpart of the mind
  • Develops out of growing awareness that “you can’t always get what you want”
  • Relates to the real world and operates via the “reality principle”
  • Realizes the need for compromise and negotiates between the Id and the Superego
  • Ego’s job is the get the Id’s pleasures but to be reasonable and bear the long-term consequences in mind
  • Ego too strong = extremely rational and efficient, but cold, boring and distant

The Superego

  • The last part of the mind to develop
  • Might be called the moral part of the mind
  • Becomes an embodiment of parental and societal values
  • Stores and enforces the rules
  • Constantly strives for perfection, even though this perfection ideal may be quite far from reality or possibility
  • Its power to enforce rules comes from its ability to create anxiety

The Superego (continued)

  • Superego has 2 subsystems (Ego ideal and Conscience)
    • The ego ideal provides rules for good behaviour and standards of excellence towards which the ego must strive (basically what the child’s parents approve of and value)
    • The conscience is the rules about what constitutes bad behaviour (basically all those things that the child feels parents would disapprove of or punish)
    • Superego too strong = feels guilty all the time, may have a very saintly personality

Sigmund Freud: Psychosexual Stages of Development

  • His work focused on the role the unconscious – impulses buried below the level of awareness – plays in our behaviour
  • Human behaviour arises between societal prohibitions and instinctual drives associated with sex and aggression
  • Expressed in slips of tongue, dreams, mental disorder, art, literature
  • Each stage of development poses for individuals a conflict that they must resolve before moving to the next stage. If conflict is unresolved the frustration becomes a central feature of the individual. Individuals may become fixated in a particular stage.

Sigmund Freud: Psychosexual Stages of Development (continued)

  • Ego defense mechanism are activated when an individual confronts serious anxiety and emotional conflicts. Some defense mechanism are:
    • Repression: unacceptable thought is driven from conscious
    • Projection: “he started it”
    • Displacement: scapegoat