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Sigmund Freud's Structure of the Mind

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Freud sees personality as having three aspects, each aspect works together to produce all of behaviors: the id, the ego and the superego.  All 3 components need to be well-balanced in order to have reasonable mental health.

The Id

~functions in the irrational and often times emotional part of the mind

~An Example:

At birth a baby is the mindset of getting what it wants for no other reason other than they want it.  The Id is primitive in the way that it does what it wants in order to survive and better the life for themselves. The Id contains all the basic needs and feelings and has also been referred to as the libido.

~ Operates on pleasure principle of "I want it and I want it now."

The Ego

~Functions with the rational part of the mind.

~The Ego develops out of growing awareness that you can’t always get what you want.

~The Ego relates to the real world and operates via the “reality principle”.  It realizes the need for compromise and negotiates between the Id and the Superego.  The Ego's job is to get the Id's pleasures but to keep in mind the consequences that could come from the action. 

~The Ego denies both instant gratification and the  delayment of gratification. 

~If  someone's ego is too strong then usually they are extremely rational and efficient, but cold and distant from other people.

The Superego

~The Superego is the last part of the mind to develop and could also be referred to as the moral part of the mind.

~ The Superego begins to put together everything our parents and society teaches us. It stores and enforces rules. I

The Superegot constantly strives for perfection, even though the idea could be far from reality. 

~The Superego is known to create anxiety because of its ability to enforce rules.

~If the superego is too strong the person will tend to feel guilty all of the time.


The Interaction
The Ego has a difficult time dealing with the competing demands of the Superego and the Id.  The conflict between the Id and Superego, which is stimulated by the Ego, is one of the fundamental psychological battles everyone faces.  The way in which a person usually resolves the instant gratification vs. longer-term rewards is what is known as their "character".

Sigmund Freud

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