In psychoanalytic theory, the id, ego and super-ego are three distinct, interacting agents in the psychic apparatus, defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche. The three agents are theoretical constructs that Freud employed to describe the basic structure of mental life as it was encountered in psychoanalytic practice. Freud himself used the German terms das Es, Ich, and Über-Ich, which literally translate as "the it", "I", and "over-I". The Latin terms id, ego and super-ego were chosen by his original translators and have remained in use.
In the ego psychology model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual desires; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic agent that mediates between the instinctual desires of the id and the critical super-ego; Freud compared the ego (in its relation to the id) to a man on horseback: the rider must harness and direct the superior energy of his mount, and at times allow for a practicable satisfaction of its urges. The ego is thus "in the habit of transforming the id's will into action, as if it were its own."
Freud introduced the structural model (id, ego, super-ego) in the essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920) in response to the unstructured ambiguity and conflicting uses of the term "the unconscious mind". He elaborated, refined, and formalised that model in the essay The Ego and the Id (1923).
English translation: ——— (1928). The Book of the It: Psychoanalytic Letters to a Friend. New York / Washington: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company.
Further reading Edit
- Freud, Sigmund (April 1910). "The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis". American Journal of Psychology. 21 (2): 181–218. doi:10.2307/1413001. JSTOR 1413001.
- Freud, Sigmund (1920), Beyond the Pleasure Principle.
- Freud, Sigmund (1923), Das Ich und das Es, Internationaler Psycho-analytischer Verlag, Leipzig, Vienna, and Zurich. English translation, The Ego and the Id, Joan Riviere (trans.), Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-analysis, London, UK, 1927. Revised for The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, James Strachey (ed.), W.W. Norton and Company, New York City, NY, 1961.
- Freud, Sigmund (1923), "Neurosis and Psychosis". The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIX (1923–1925): The Ego and the Id and Other Works, 147–154
- Gay, Peter (ed., 1989), The Freud Reader. W.W. Norton.
- Rangjung Dorje (root text): Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (commentary), Peter Roberts (translator) (2001) Transcending Ego: Distinguishing Consciousness from Wisdom, (Wylie: rnam shes ye shes 'byed pa)
- Kurt R. Eissler: The effect of the structure of the ego on psychoanalytic technique (1953) / republished by Psychomedia
- American Psychological Association
- Sigmund Freud and the Freud Archives
- Section 5: Freud's Structural and Topographical Model, Chapter 3: Personality Development Psychology 101.
- An introduction to psychology: Measuring the unmeasurable
- Splash26, Lacanian Ink
- Sigmund Freud
- Sigmund Freud's theory (Russian)
- Education portal's lesson on the id, ego, and superego
- Information on Charcot, Freud's teacher and mentor
- Background information on Freud