Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist, famous for his theory of personality. He is considered one of the most prominent thinkers of the first half of the 20th century. Freud is best known for his theories on the unconscious mind and the defense mechanism of repression, but in this essay, I’m writing about his idea on id, ego, and super ego, and how he proposed that the brain could be diviided into those 3 parts. According to Freud, we are born with id and it is important because as infants, it allows us to get our basic needs met.
He believed that id was based on our “pleasure prinicple” so that we want whatever feels good at the time without taking in the reality of the situatuion. Id doesn’t care about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction. An example of this is when a child is uncomfortable, the id makes them cry until their needs are met, nomatter the condition of the people around it. At about the time we become toddlers, the second part of personality begins to develop and it is called ego.
It is based on the “reality principle” bacause it appears as we start to interact with the world. This is the part that understands that other people have needs and desires. The ego allows us to figure out that being impulsive and selfish can have negative affects and gets our needs met while taking into consideration reality, unlike id. An example is a 3-year-old who wants their mom to play with them, but knows that if they do, she wont be able to cook dinner. The last stage of development is the superego and it appears around the age of 5.
This is considered the moral part of our personality which makes sense because it’s the the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our guardians that results in its appearance. The idea of superego is like to the conscience part of out brain because it distinguishes between right and wrong, and produces the feeling of quilt. The Superego works in contradiction to the id because it strives to act in a socially appropriate manner, whereas the id just wants instant self-gratification.
An example is someone in a relationship that has an affair and feels extreme guilt because they knew it was wrong. According to Freud, a healthy person is someone whose ego factor is there strongest so that it satisfies the id with getting needs met, but doesn’t upset the super ego, all the while taking into consideration the reality. If id is too stong, selfishness and impluse takes over ones life. But if superego is to stong, the person would have rigid morals and be very judgemental. ———————–