Id, Ego and Superego

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Id, ego, and super-ego Pages: 8 (2969 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Id, ego and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described. According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego. The super-ego can stop you from doing certain things that your id may want you to do. Even though the model is structural and makes reference to an apparatus, the id, ego and super-ego are functions of the mind rather than parts of the brain and do not correspond one-to-one with actual somatic structures of the kind dealt with by neuroscience. The concepts themselves arose at a late stage in the development of Freud's thought: the "structural model" (which succeeded his "economic model" and "topographical model") was first discussed in his 1920 essay "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" and was formalised and elaborated upon three years later in his "The Ego and the Id". Freud's proposal was influenced by the ambiguity of the term "unconscious" and its many conflicting uses. ID

The ID is the unorganized part of the personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives. ID is the only component of personality that is present from birth. The ID is the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth; it is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The ID operates according to the pleasure principle, the psychic force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification of any impulse.The ID contains the libido, which is the primary source of instinctual force that is unresponsive to the demands of reality.The ID acts according to the "pleasure principle", seeking to avoid pain or unpleasure (not 'displeasure') aroused by increases in instinctual tension. If the mind was solely guided by the ID, individuals would find it difficult to wait patiently at a restaurant, while feeling hungry, and would most likely grab food off of neighbouring tables . According to Freud the ID is unconscious by definition:

"It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the Dreamwork and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations.... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle." In the id,

"contrary impulses exist side by side, without cancelling each other out.... There is nothing in the id that could be compared with negation ... nothing in the ID which corresponds to the idea of time." Developmentally, the ID precedes the ego; i.e. the psychic apparatus begins, at birth, as an undifferentiated ID, part of which then develops into a structured ego. Thus, the ID: "... contains everything that is inherited, that is present at birth, is laid down in the constitution — above all, therefore, the instincts, which originate from the somatic organization, and which find a first psychical expression here (in the id) in forms unknown to us." [10] The mind of a newborn child is regarded as completely "ID-ridden", in the sense that it is a mass of instinctive drives and impulses, and needs immediate satisfaction, a view which equates a newborn child with an ID-ridden individual—often humorously—with this analogy: an alimentary tract with no sense of responsibility at either end, paraphrasing a quip made by former U.S. President...
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