Id, Ego, and Superego Personality is defined as 'Individuals' unique and relatively stable patterns of behavior, thoughts and feelings. Freud's approach in defining the personality is known as the Psychoanalytic Approach. In this theory, he emphasis on the unconscious forces and conflicts.
It stores and enforces rules. It 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. When one's Superego is too strong, he/she will feel guilty all the time and may even have an insufferably saintly personality.
Superego consists of 2 components: Ego ideal –Pride Provides rules for good behavior Conscience –Guilt the rules about what constitutes bad behavior
So what is Superego? Acquired from our parents and through experience and represents our internalization of the moral teachings and norms of our society. Some of these teachings are often quite inflexible and leave little room for gratification of our basic desires.
Reality Principle (Egos Job) The Ego's job is to get the Id's pleasures but to be reasonable and bear the long-term consequences in mind. It is partly conscious. When one's Ego is too strong, he/she is extremely rational and efficient, but cold, boring and distant.
Ego functions with the rational part of the mind The Ego develops out of growing awareness that you cant always get what you want. The Ego realizes the need for compromise and negotiates between the Id and the Superego.
Defense Mechanism To keep threatening and unacceptable material out of consciousness to reduce anxiety, the Ego used the following techniques:
Repression "forgetting" or pushing unacceptable thoughts or impulses from consciousness into unconsciousness. E.g. A young man wishes that his abusive father would pass away, fails to remember that he has such a wish.
Sublimation: Unacceptable impulse is channeled into some socially acceptable action. E.g A person who is unable to have any children of her own, instead of going to kidnap one, she adopt one or becomes a teacher.
Regression: Responding to a threatening situation in a way appropriate to an earlier age or level of development. E.g. Instead of feeling helplessness when the doctor refused to administer additional medication, the patient throw a tantrum.
Rationalization Coming up with socially accepted reasons for thoughts or actions based on unacceptable motives. E.g. A young woman on diet ate an entire cake and explains that the cake will spoil in the warm weather.