First and foremost, who is Sigmund Freud? He is a famous Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis. He has been considered the forerunner of the psychoanalytic theory, which has profoundly influenced the different fields of psychology, as well as the art, literature, philosophy, ethics and other related fields.
According to Freud, our personality has three interrelated aspects, the id, ego and superego. Let us discuss these one by one.
1. Id. The id, according to experts, is the most known of the three, but not with its name. It’s always been mistaken with some other terms. It consists of a mass of wild, blind instincts that does not have a sense of direction. It is our animal instinct that functions according to the biological impulses of our physical body. It has no logical sense of time, no sense of values and cannot even distinguish the difference between the good and evil.
2. Ego. This is the most misused term of the three. It is the realistic portion of personality by virtue of its nearness to the external world. It serves as the receiving stimuli that protect us from the surrounding environment. Our ego is referred as the logical and ordered aspect of our personality. It suppresses that fundamental animalistic nature of humans. While id is considered the biological aspect of our personality, the ego is the psychological part.
3. Superego. This has also been misused in the modern day. People who are too proud of themselves are sometimes referred to as super egoistic. The original meaning of superego according to Sigmund Freud is that it is the conscience of man. This part of our personality is what dictates our moral and social values. The superego can become the vehicle to hand on racial traditions from generation to generation. This is also the part of our personality that has the tendency for perfection.
These three aspects of our personality, exist altogether but not in harmony. As the id pushes its animalistic desires, the superego thrusts its moralistic pressures on the ego. The ego thus becomes in control of deciding which ones to choose and which ones to reject. Either way, there is a corresponding consequence on the part of the ego. If it rejects the id’s choice, the ego experiences anxieties as punishment. When, on the other hand, it rejects the superego’s choice, the superego inflicts inferiority or guilt on the part of the ego.