General Question

pleiades's avatar

In psychology I was taught there was a common misconception between the "ego" and the "id" can you confirm this?

Asked by pleiades (6528 points ) February 5th, 2014

In a nutshell, during first semester psychology I was taught that the “ego” was part of a system determining between right and wrong while the “id” was responsible for looking out for the self and our own best interest not really right from wrong.

Did I take this in correctly?

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7 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

The id is the pleasure-seeking portion of our mind. It’s “I want it and I want it now.”

The superego is our strict moral/ethical code; our conscience. It’s “this is wrong and this is right.”

The ego is the reality principle. It balances out the two extremes of the id and the superego. It’s “let’s meet in the middle.”

Kropotkin's avatar

Well, it’s the super-ego which is the system that “determines right and wrong”. The id is the instinctive innate drives, and the ego is the self-interest part. It’s been a long while since I read any Freud, so don’t take my word for it.

The id is the part that makes you think and want to do naughty things.
The super-ego is the moralising bit that reminds you that naughty things are bad.
The ego mediates between the two.

Obviously there’s a lot more to it than that.

LostInParadise's avatar

Does this distinction correspond to what we know from studying the brain? There is a primitive portion of the brain that might roughly correspond to the id. I have my doubts about whether the ego and superego have physical counterparts.

Kropotkin's avatar

@LostInParadise No, it has no physical counterparts as such. Psychoanalysis is purely a model of the mind, or of the psyche. It’s not a model based on the physical functioning or architecture of the brain. I suppose that the elements of the psychoanalytic model could be types of hypothetical constructs.

pleiades's avatar

Thank you all for clearing that up. @livelaughlove21 May I ask for a source? I re-sold my text book back at least 3 years ago!

livelaughlove21's avatar

@pleiades The source was my head, as a psychology major that had to learn about Freud in about 10 different courses.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Here’s a link with a decent explanation on each component.

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