Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sigmund Freud - The Ego and the Id - Summary and Review

Sigmund Freud's  "The Ego and the Id" (1923) formulates the structural personality model in which Freud offers a revised version of his earlier topographical model of the psyche. The model articulates a map of the different layers which comprise the human soul: the conscious ,unconscious and preconscious which correlate with the faculties of ego, id and super-ego.

The Id - the Id (German: Es) is the primordial part of the psyche, the mental agency which hold the core energy of urges, the libido. The Id is separate from the Ego and external to it. It lacks self awareness and it is in a sense a boiling pot of physical energies aimed at attaining pleasure and avoiding pain (Freud's "pleasure principle"). The Id does not abide by reason and is pure impulse and it is associated with the unconscious.

The Ego - the Ego in Freud's theory splits from the initial Id to from a separate agency associated with the conscious. The Ego is formed as a result of the Id's necessity to negotiate its urges with reality's constrictions ("the reality principle"). The Ego is our aware experience of ourselves and its perceptions are logical and realistic. The Ego has the task of managing the energy arising from the Id and find ways to satisfy its desires in accordance with reality.

The Super-Ego - the Super Ego is formed "on top" of the Ego during Freud's Oedipal Complex. The child's identification with his father includes the internalization of society's rules and proper manners of conduct. Thus a moral conscience develops and a sense of an "ideal" self that one needs to peruse. The super ego is strict and uncompromising and it engages the Ego with moral demands.
In Freud's model the Ego is "stuck" in the middle of three factors: the Id, the Super-Ego and reality. The Ego need to accommodate and balance all the different pressures and demands, a arduous task indeed.

Read more:

Sigmund Freud - summary of ideas and main concepts

Sigmund Freud – "The Uncanny"