What is the ego?

Sigmund Freud was a neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis- a method of treating patients with psychological problems by talking to a trained psychoanalyst. He was most well-known for his theory of personality. He said the human psyche was composed of 3 parts-that were separate; but interacted: the i.d, the ego and the superego. These are purely psychological and do not exist physically in the brain.

The ego is part of the personality that prevents us from acting on our basic urges (created by the id). The ego works to ensure the id’s desires are realistic and socially acceptable. A person’s id operates based on the principles of pleasure-it drives us to fulfil our basic urges and needs as quickly as possible. It is present at birth and is part of our personality. It attempts to fulfil the most basic urges people have- many linked to survival.  It also provides all the energy necessary to drive personality. A person’s “ego” is the view that a person has of themselves in terms of attitudes, values and concerns.  Our ego helps us deal with the external world and its practical demands and enables us to perceive, reason and solve problems, test reality and adjust, or keep in check, the impulses of the id.

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