In 1923 Sigmund Freud noticed the clash within thought and mental processes which led him to identify three parts of our psyche. He referred to these as the Id, Ego and the Superego. The Id is ‘the primitive, unconscious basis of the psyche, dominated by primary urges’ *. It comes from the initial instinct to satisfy our needs and desires what can be known as the pleasure principle. The uncontrollable repressed part of our psyche, for example a newborn child is primarily id controlled. However external contact with the outside world shapes and develops the psyche. At this point the ego develops.
The ego governs and controls the id. The ego is partly conscious and can ‘gather information for making a rational decision * The ego allows us to successfully adapt to society. It helps us obey rules and laws. It helps control our primary urges. The ego helps us manage our desires. Freud distinguished between two ego types, the realist and the narcissistic. The realist id mediates between the pleasure-seeking id and reality. ‘It satisfies some of the id’s desires yet still maintaining society’s expectations’. * The narcissistic on the other hand comes from the Myth of Narcissus, an ancient Greek legend about a beautiful youth who falls in love with his own image, angry at not being able to possess himself he faded away and became a narcissus flower. * It relates back to when you are a child and you are developing your identity and trying to find your mirror image. The Superego governs all of these and is often seen as the conscience. It helps us manage a balance between what are right and wrong. An example would be if you were really hot while out in public, your superego would get you to go and buy a drink and maybe take off a layer of clothing rather than stripping off naked. The superego can adapt or change according to society; and produces emotions for ones actions. The superego is for the benefit of society rather than
Bibliography: (Richard Appignanesi, 1979 pg 156) (http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap9/chap9d.htm). (Hayward, 2000, pg 288) (http://www.pantheon.org/articles/n/narcissus.html) (Richard Appignanesi, 1979 pg 159).