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The Role Ego Plays in Your Personality

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-ego-2795167

verywellmind.com

The Role Ego Plays in Your Personality
Sigmund Freud described the ego as the part of the personality that mediates between the demands of the id, superego, and reality.

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The Ego And The Reality Principle

The Ego And The Reality Principle

According to the original psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, our ego is part of our personality that is between the id (our primal, animalistic instincts), our superego (the mature personality formed by the kind of upbringing and social influences in one’s life) and reality.

The ego works based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the id's desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality principle analyses the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon impulses.

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The Ego Is The Balancer

The ego has its one internal, silent and invisible measures, known as defense mechanisms to curb the ‘id’. These measures are not visible and can only be known retroactively, like repression, for example.

Our basic and primal instincts are regulated by our ego, and our more moral and idealistic standards, set by the superego, are also kept under check. The ego operates in the preconscious, unconscious and conscious states of the mind. Example: The ego is a safety valve that prevents us from getting out of the car and attacking the driver that has offended us for some reason, however satisfying that may seem at the moment.

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Sigmund Freud

"The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions."

Sigmund Freud

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Personality Psychology: Important Terminology

Personality Psychology: Important Terminology
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Defining Personality

While we often talk about personality, psychologists disagree on what exactly constitutes personality.

Personality is then broadly defined as the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that originate within the person and make a person unique. It is what makes you, you.

Key Characteristics of Personality

  • Personality is organized and consistent.
  • Personality is generally stable, but the environment can influence it. A shy personality in social situations might take charge and be more outspoken in an emergency.
  • Personality causes behaviours to happen. You react to your environment based on your personality.

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Repression as a defense mechanism

Repression as a defense mechanism

Repression can best be defined as the psychological defense mechanism that involves pushing undesired thoughts into the unconscious in order to not think about them anymore.

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Types of repression

Repression is of two types: primary and proper.

While the primary one takes into account the fact of hiding undesired thoughts or facts, the proper one takes place whenever an individual becomes aware of the thoughts that had initially been hidden and tries to hide them again.

Repression and its way of functioning

The objective of hiding our undesired thoughts in our unconsciousness is to feel less anxious.

However, Freud stated that this process can backfire at any point, as these hidden thoughts or feelings can still create anxiety, eventually leading to psychological distress.

When Psychology Became A Separate Scientific Discipline

When Psychology Became A Separate Scientific Discipline

When psychology developed as a science that was separate from biology and philosophy, they did not know how to describe the human mind and behaviour.

Different schools of psychology...

Psychology: Early Schools of Thought

  • Structuralism was the first school of thought and focused on breaking down mental processes into their most basic elements using techniques such as introspection. Major thinkers are Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Titchener.
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Gestalt Psychology

  • This school of psychology is based on the idea that we experience things as unified wholes.
  • The approach started in the late 19th century in response to the molecular approach of structuralism.
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