Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Constructs Psychosexual development Psychosocial development ConsciousPreconsciousUnconscious Id, ego, and super-ego LibidoDrive TransferenceSublimationResistance
Important Figures Sigmund FreudCarl JungId, ego, and super-ego Alfred AdlerOtto Rank Anna Freud Karen HorneyJacques LacanId, ego, and super-ego Ronald FairbairnMelanie Klein Harry Stack Sullivan Erik EriksonNancy Chodorow Susan Sutherland Isaacs Ernest Jones
Important works The Interpretation of Dreams Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" Schools of Thought Self psychologyLacanian Analytical psychologyObject relations InterpersonalRelational AttachmentEgo psychology
In psychodynamics, the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego are the divisions of the psyche according to psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's "structural theory." In his 1923 work The Ego and the Id, Freud introduced new terms to describe the division between the conscious and unconscious: 'id,' 'ego,' and 'super-ego.' He thought these terms offered a more compelling description of the dynamic relations between the conscious and the unconscious. The "id" (fully unconscious) contains the drives and those things repressed by consciousness; the "ego" (mostly conscious) deals with external reality; and the "super ego" (partly conscious) is the conscience or the internal moral judge (The Freud Exhibit: L.O.C.).
This belief system is largely discredited. Karl Popper said in 1953, "...as for Freud's epic of the Ego, the Super-ego, and the Id, no substantially stronger claim to scientific status can be made for it than for Homer's collected stories from Olympus. These theories describe some facts, but in the manner of myths. They contain most interesting psychological suggestions, but not in a testable form."

Freud's structural theory
The term id is a Latinized derivation from Groddeck's das Es. It stands in direct opposition to the super-ego. It is dominated by the pleasure principle.
The newborn child is regarded as being completely 'Id-ridden', in the sense that it is a mass of instinctive drives and impulses, and demands immediate satisfaction. This view equates a new born child with an id-ridden individual - often humorously - with this analogy: an alimentary tract with no sense of responsibility at either end.
The id is responsible for our basic drives such as food, sex and aggressive impulses, and demands immediate satisfaction. It is amoral and egocentric, ruled by the pleasure-pain principle; it is without a sense of time; completely illogical; primarily sexual; infantile in its emotional development; will not take 'no' for an answer; is without verbal representation and therefore does not enter consciousness. It is regarded as the reservoir of the libido or "love energy".
A popular interpretation of the id is not that it is "convincing" the mind to ignore social norms, but rather in itself just does not take social norms into account when 'thinking' or 'acting'. The id is the primal, or beastlike, part of the brain, determined to pursue actions that are pleasurable, such as eating or copulation. The prime motive of the id is self-survival, pursuing whatever necessary to accomplish that goal.

The id
In Freud's theory, the ego mediates among the id, the super-ego and the external world. Its task is to find a balance between primitive drives, morals, and reality while satisfying the id and superego. Its main concern is with the individual's safety and allows some of the id's desires to be expressed, but only when consequences of these actions are marginal. Ego defense mechanisms are often used by the ego when id behaviour conflicts with reality and either society's morals, norms, and taboos or the individual's expectations as a result of the internalization of these morals, norms, and taboos.
The word ego is taken directly from Latin where it is the nominative of the first person singular personal pronoun and is translated as "I myself" to express emphasis. Ego is the English translation for Freud's German term "Das Ich."
In modern-day society, ego has many meanings. It could mean one's self-esteem; an inflated sense of self-worth; or in philosophical terms, one's self. However, according to the psychologist Sigmund Freud, the ego is the part of the mind which contains the consciousness. Originally, Freud had associated the word ego to meaning a sense of self; however, he later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgement, tolerance, reality-testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory.
In a diagram of the Structural and Topographical Models of Mind, the ego is depicted to be half in the consciousness, while a quarter is in the preconscious and the other quarter lies in the unconscious.
The ego is the mediator between the id and the superego; trying to ensure that the needs of both the id and the superego are met. It is said to operate on a reality principle, meaning it deals with the id and the superego; allowing them to express their desires, drives and morals in realistic and socially appropriate ways. It is said that the ego stands for reason and caution, developing with age. Sigmund Freud had used an analogy which likened the ego to a rider and a horse; the ego being the rider while the id being the horse. The horse provides the energy and the means of obtaining the energy and information need, while the rider ultimately controls the direction it wants to go. However, due to unfavorable conditions, sometimes the horse makes its own decisions over the rocky terrain.
When the ego is personified, it is like a slave to three harsh masters: the id, the super-ego and the external world. It has to do its best to suit all three, thus is constantly feeling hemmed by the danger of causing discontent on two other sides. It is said however, that the ego seems to be more loyal to the id, preferring to gloss over the finer details of reality to minimize conflicts with the pretending to have a regard for reality. But the super-ego is constantly watching every one of the egos' moves and punishes it with feelings of guilt, anxiety, and inferiority. To overcome this, this ego employs method of defense mechanism. Denial, displacement, intellectualization, fantasy, compensation, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression and sublimation were the defense mechanisms Freud identified. However, his daughter Anna Freud clarified and identified the concepts of: undoing, suppression, dissociation, idealization, identification, introjection, inversion, somatization, splitting and substitution.

Freud's theory states that the super-ego is a symbolic internalization of the father figure and cultural regulations. The super-ego tends to stand in opposition to the desires of the id because of their conflicting objectives, and is aggressive towards the ego. The super-ego acts as the conscience, maintaining our sense of morality and the prohibition of taboos. Its formation takes place during the dissolution of the Oedipus complex and is formed by an identification with and internalization of the father figure after the little boy cannot successfully hold the mother as a love-object out of fear of castration. "The super-ego retains the character of the father, while the more powerful the Oedipus complex was and the more rapidly it succumbed to repression (under the influence of authority, religious teaching, schooling and reading), the stricter will be the domination of the super-ego over the ego later on — in the form of conscience or perhaps of an unconscious sense of guilt" (The Ego and the Id, 1923). In Sigmund Freud's work Civilization and Its Discontents (1930) he also discusses the concept of a "cultural super-ego". The concept of super-ego and the Oedipus complex is subject to criticism for its sexism. Women, who are considered to be already castrated, do not identify with the father, and therefore form a weak super-ego, apparently leaving them susceptible to immorality and sexual identity complications.



Alter ego
Ego psychology
Collective unconscious
Defense mechanism
Self (psychology)
Transactional analysis
Unconscious mind
The Ego and the Id