The Ego and the Id

This essay has a total of 1558 words and 9 pages.


The Ego and the Id





The Ego and the Id 2
Over the years, people have wondered what goes on in a person's mind that guides them to
meet their needs. Sigmund Freud developed a system of personality that boldly attempts to
explain the course of personality and what was it origins. Freud theory assumes that one's
personality is shaped and some powerful inner forces motivate one's behavior. According
to Freud, personality differences commence from the different ways in which people deal
with their underlying drives. By picturing a continuing battle between antagonistic parts
of personality, Freud was able to develop three systems that make up the total
personality. The three systems of personality are the id, ego, and the superego. If the
three systems work together in harmony and unite together to form one complete
organization, it enables one to create a positive transaction with the environment. If
the systems are fighting with each other, one is said to be dissatisfied with himself or
the world. By examining the ego, the id, and the superego, one should see how these three
systems of personality play an important role in the development of one's personality. In
doing so one should understand what conscious and unconscious, and the functions of the
id, ego, and superego.

Freud did not invent the idea of the conscious versus the unconscious. However, he was
responsible for making it popular. What you are of aware of at any particular moment is
called being conscious. By being conscious you are aware of certain things such as your
present perceptions, memories, thoughts, and fantasies. All of our knowledge is bound up
with consciousness. Consciousness is the surface of the mental


The Ego and the Id 3
apparatus. All perceptions, whether it is received from both within and without, are conscious.
Freud (1960) said "that very powerful mental processes of ideas exist which can produce
all the effects of the mental life that ordinary ideas do, though they themselves do not
become conscious" (p. 4). This is an indication that there are other parts of the mind in
which thoughts occur. According to Freud (1960), "the state in which the ideas existed
before being made conscious is called by us repression" (p. 4). It is by the theory of
repression that the concept of the unconscious is obtained.

The unconscious is the largest part of the mind. All the things that are not easily
available to awareness are part of the unconscious. This includes the many things that
have their origins there, such as our drives or instinct. The unconscious also includes
the things that are put there because we can't bear to look at them, things such as
memories and emotions associated with trauma for example. The unconscious is the source
of motivations, whether it is simple desires for food or sex, or the motives of becoming a
doctor or lawyer. These motives are available to us. However, we are often driven to
deny or resist becoming conscious of the motives which are in a disguised form.

There is still another part of the mind. Freud (1960) wrote "that we have two kinds of
unconsciousness- the which is latent and is capable of becoming conscious, and the one
which is repressed and which is not, in itself and without more ado, capable of becoming
conscious" (p.5). This part of the mind is called the preconscious. In other words,
Freud was saying anything that the preconscious is anything that can easily made
conscious. The memories that you are thinking of can easily be brought to the mind.

The Ego and the Id 4
The difference between the an unconscious and preconscious thought is that in the
unconscious the former thought consist in is carried out on some material unknown, whereas
the latest, the preconscious the thought is brought out into connection with word
presentations. These word presentations are residues of memories. At one time they were
all memories, and they can become conscious again. Where feelings are concerned, the
distinction between the conscious and the unconscious has no meaning. The preconscious is
no more, and the feelings are either conscious or unconscious.

It is the role of the systems of the mind that brings the parts of the mind into
existence. The conscious is part of the external world, whereas the unconscious is part
of the internal world. According to Freud (1960), "in each individual there is a coherent
organization of mental processes; and we call this his ego. It is to this ego that
consciousness is attached; the ego controls the approaches to motility-that is discharge
of excitations of the external world" (p. 7). The ego is the executive of personality.
It controls and governs the id and the superego as well as the external world.

The ego relies mostly on the reality principle, which states that one's actual needs exist
but the discharge of energy must be postponed until the actual object that will satisfy
the need will found. Freud (1960) wrote that "the ego seeks to bring the influence of the
external world to bear upon the id and its tendencies, and endeavors to substitute the
reality principle which reigns unrestrictedly in the id" (p. 15).

The id is the system of personality that is in the unconscious part of the mind that
consist of natural instincts, urges, and drives that are repressed. The id is the cause
of all activity, though the thoughts are often unconscious. The function of the id is to
provide

The Ego and the Id 5
for the immediate release of the quantities of excitations that are discharged in the
person by internal or external stimulation. Unlike the ego and the superego, the id
cannot be changed with time. The id is more in touch with the body and it processes than
the external world. The id is not governed by laws of reason of or logic, nor does it
Continues for 5 more pages >>