Egoism, Egotism and Egocentrism

  • Egoism is the belief that our moral behaviour is based on taking care of our own interests. Taking care of ourselves is actually a rational, desirable activity. If we take care of others while neglecting ourselves, we become worn out or suffer burnout. Example: Flight Attendants warn passengers that they should be putting on their own oxygen masks before helping anyone else with theirs.
  • Egotism means having a really big ego. Egotists are always talking about themselves.
  • Egocentrism is when one only sees their own perceptive and thinks that the world revolves around them. The focus of an egocentric person is only themselves.
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Psychology defines ego as a neutral concept which is one of many aspects of ourselves. The ego is then simply one’s individuality, the thoughts, behaviours and experiences that make a person unique. It is the part that perceives reality, making sense of all the information around us.

Sigmund Freud divided the human psyche into three parts: the id, the ego and the superego. The id is the primal, wild part of our mind, the ego is the ‘conscious mediator’, the rational part of our mind making all the decisions, and the superego is the conscience.

The Ego
  • The term ego has many definitions. Sages say it is the only barrier between us and true enlightenment. Whether we define it as self-esteem, self-importance or our arrogant, stubborn nature, ego isn’t something to be discarded, as it has tremendous functionality in this world.
  • The term ‘ego’ comes from the Latin word ‘I’, which Sigmund Freud chose to describe as ‘es’(in the German language), later translated to the English word ‘ego.
  • People associate conceit (narcissism), arrogance, big headedness, or simply being smug with being egoistic. People who have an aura of superiority, pomposity, or pride can also be termed ego-centric.
  • Self-Concept: Our own self-image, the way we perceive ourselves.
  • Identity: Our social status, physical characteristics and abilities.
  • Self-Perspective: Our own unique view of ourselves and the world around us.
  • Self-Worth: The ability to see the good in ourselves, someone who deserves good things and values being themselves.
  • Self-Esteem: It is a positive sense of self-worth, our own confidence, and the need to fulfil your and others desires.
  • Individuality: It is our own unique self, as each of us has our own thoughts, needs, abilities and preferences.
  • Personality: The unique traits, quirks and other qualities that make you who you are. Example: Cheerful, quiet, or bossy.

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Personality Psychology: Important Terminology
  • Classical conditioning: A behavioural technique where a natural stimulus is paired with a previously neutral stimulus. The previously neutral stimulus eventually cause the response without pairing it to the natural stimulus.
  • Operant conditioning: A behaviour training technique where punishments or reinforcements influence behaviour.
  • Unconscious: The container for feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories.
  • Id: The personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy used to satisfy basic urges, needs, and desires.
  • Ego: The unconscious part of the personality that moderates the id's demands, the superego, and reality.
  • Superego: The part of personality composed of our internalised ideals that comes from our parents and society.



It seems like an odd question, but is it? Do you know how to define happiness? Do you think happiness is the same thing to you as it is to others?

What’s the point of it all? Does it even make a difference in our lives?

In fact, happiness does have a pretty important role in our lives, and it can have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. Although researchers have yet to pin down the definition or an agreed-upon framework for happiness, there’s a lot we have learned in the last few decades.

What Carl Jung is known for

Carl Jung introduced the theory of personality types. You have used some of Jung's ideas if you think of yourself as introvert or extrovert; if you have ever used the Myers-Briggs personality or spirituality test.

Two ideas central to his theory: the ego and the self.

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