“the It”, “the I”, and the “I above” and consciousness

The It

The ID is the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth; it is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The id operates according to the pleasure principle, the psychic force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification of any impulse.

If the mind was solely guided by the id, individuals would find it difficult to wait patiently at a restaurant, while feeling hungry, and would most likely grab food off of neighbouring tables. According to Freud the id is unconscious by definition.

The I

The ego acts according to the reality principle; i.e. it seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bring grief.

The ego comprises the organized part of the personality structure that includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive, and executive functions. Conscious awareness resides in the ego, although not all of the operations of the ego are conscious

An example would be to resist the urge to grab other people’s belongings and buy them instead.


The I above

The superego reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly taught by parents applying their guidance and influence.

The super-ego aims for perfection.[22] It comprises that organized part of the personality structure, mainly but not entirely unconscious, that includes the individual’s ego ideals, spiritual goals, and the psychic agency (commonly called “conscience“) that criticizes and prohibits his or her drives, fantasies, feelings, and actions.



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