- General


Id, Ego, and Superego are the three parts of the human psyche according to the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud. The concept of the tripartite structure of the mind was first introduced by Freud in his 1923 book, “The Ego and the Id.” The three parts of the psyche are constantly in conflict, with the Id representing the primitive, instinctual desires of the individual, the Ego representing the rational, realistic part of the self, and the Superego representing the moral and ethical aspect of the individual. He also believed that this repression leads to conflicts within the psyche and that the conflicts between the Id, Ego, and Superego result in psychological disorders and behavioral problems. It has since been widely accepted and adopted by the field of psychology. However, Freud’s theories have been subject to criticism and revision over the years. The concept of the Id, Ego, and Superego has been modified and refined by other psychoanalytic theorists, including Carl Jung and Jacques Lacan, who have added their own interpretations and applications to the theory.

Application: The concept of Id, Ego, and Superego has important applications in various fields, including psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy. It is used to understand and diagnose psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety, as well as to guide the treatment of these disorders. The theory is also used in personality assessment and in the understanding of human behavior and motivation.

The human psyche is a complex entity that is constantly at war within itself. This inner conflict is best described by the theory of the tripartite personality, which divides the psyche into three distinct parts: the id, ego, and superego. Each of these parts represents different aspects of our personality and desires, and they are in constant conflict with each other.

The id is the unconscious part of our personality that is responsible for our instinctual desires and impulses. It operates on the pleasure principle, seeking immediate gratification without regard for the consequences. The id is driven by primitive instincts such as hunger, thirst, and sexual desire.ID is very important early in life to ensure that your child’s needs are met. When hungry or unwell, the child cries until his id’s needs are met.  Young newborns are completely in control of their ID. They cannot reason when their demands must be met.

Consider attempting to persuade a baby to delay eating until lunchtime. Because the other facets of personality have not yet developed, the id has to be satisfied right away, and the baby will wail until these demands are met.

However, meeting these demands right away isn’t always practical or even feasible. If the pleasure principle were our sole guiding principle, we might find ourselves snatching the things we desire from others in order to sate our appetites.

It is both disruptive and socially inappropriate to behave in this manner. According to Freud, the id uses primary process thinking, which entails creating a mental image of the sought object to satiate the urge, to try to ease the tension brought on by the pleasure principle.

The ego, on the other hand, is the rational part of our personality that mediates between the demands of the id and the demands of reality. It operates on the reality principle, seeking to satisfy our desires in a way that is acceptable to society. The ego must balance the demands of the id with the constraints of reality, making decisions that are both practical and in line with social norms.

Imagine being sucked into a protracted meeting at work. The longer the conference goes on, the hungrier you feel. The ego directs you to wait patiently for the conference to end while the id may urge you to get up from your chair and head to the break room for a snack.

You spend the remaining time of the conference daydreaming about eating a cheeseburger rather than giving in to the primitive id’s urges. When the conversation is finally done, you can look for the imagined thing and meet the needs of id realistically and appropriately.

Finally, the superego is the part of our personality that represents our moral and ethical values. It represents our internalized values and principles, and strives to maintain a sense of moral superiority. The superego constantly judges the actions of the id and ego, evaluating them against our internalized standards of right and wrong.

She has the impulse to steal office supplies from her place of employment. Her superego, however, resists this temptation by emphasising on how improper such behaviours are.

A man discovers that one of the products in his cart was not charged for by the store’s cashier. His inherent feeling of justice and wrong compels him to go back to the store to pay for the item.

A student who neglected to study for a history exam gets the impulse to steal from a nearby student. Even though it seems unlikely that he will be discovered, he resists the impulse to cheat since he knows it is wrong to do so.

When these three parts of the psyche are in conflict, it can lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety, and stress. For example, when the id demands immediate gratification, the ego may try to control its impulses, while the superego may judge these impulses as morally wrong. This inner conflict can cause an individual to feel torn between their desires and their moral principles.

In conclusion, the conflict between the id, ego, and superego is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Understanding this conflict can help individuals to better understand their own motivations and behaviors, and to make more informed decisions in their personal and professional lives. By learning to balance the demands of each part of the psyche, individuals can achieve a greater sense of inner peace and well-being.

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