Life brings about different scenarios and situations that test one’s ability to relate to the environment or society. It tends to measure their input, processes, and output towards certain situations, guiding their day to day lives. With time, these behaviors begin to define an individual’s character and guide their actions towards certain situations. Their personality continues to grow with time as they relate to others and find an edge of the society. However, the personality comes from their constant growth of their ego, which allows them to define right from wrong. The research paper will look into the ego and its various states since the time of birth until death. Moreover, it will highlight various key concepts that allow it to develop over the years as well as guide their steps from one stage to another. The paper will focus on Sigmund Freud’s participation towards the development of psychology and how his initial thoughts and ideas allowed other psychologists to expand further.


Personality is a key characteristic present in every human being, but it varies depending on several factors. An individual’s personality plays a crucial role towards building an individual’s character and relation with others. Therefore, one has to understand their personality in order to relate well with others positively without any problem. Personality exists in different variations, and one of them is ego. Ego helps one not to act out in certain instances for the sake of pleasing the crown or for whatever reason that is not inherent. Moreover, it can be a determining factor towards the choices an individual makes in his or her day to day life. Some people tend to have a high ego than others do, but the attitude often turns out to be an irritation to others while others have a conducive ego. The variance in ego tends to exist in two other personality traits: the id and superego, which define a person’s character and behavior.


A person’s ego tends to operate on the principle of reality, in which the individual works towards satisfying his or her id’s desire but limits it to realism and appropriateness (Sletvold 1020). For instance, if one is driving their car and another driver cuts them abruptly, their ego might push them to chase after the driver or rant and ignore them. The id plays a major part towards the initial reaction of cause, which pushes the ego to act up (Sletvold 1021). If one cannot control their ego, the superego acts up, leading to a conflict with others. Therefore, the ego stands in between the initial interaction with people or a decision and the final result of the incidence. It helps one to understand that their response might not be socially unacceptable and there are other ways to vent out the frustration.

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Psychology allows people to understand better the effects of ego upon themselves and the society. The ego psychology is a school that focuses on psychoanalysis and the structural id-ego-superego model developed by Sigmund Freud (Jian 610). It explores the various ways an individual interacts with the external world and responds to their internal forces. Ego plays a major part towards psychoanalysis whereby psychoanalysts use it to construct a theoretical perspective towards life. Sigmund Freud developed the psychic apparatus to denote the central and theoretic construct of metapsychology (Jian 611). There is an assumption psychologists make when looking at metapsychology that life acts as the function of an apparatus, which people describe their characteristics in a vast space.

Freud tends to use the German terms ‘seelishcer Apparat’ and ‘psychischer’ when elaborating the apparatus’s function. One pictures the unknown apparatus that serves the mind’s activities as being an instrument constructed from various parts (Jian 611). Each part performs a specific function, and they all have a spatial and fixed relation with each other. Therefore, the spatial relation acts as a representation of successive functions that work towards improving one’s understanding of themselves. However, Freud proposes the psychic apparatus as a theoretic function towards explaining the functions of the mind but not its neurologic structure (Jian 613). It stands out as a hypothesis open to revision and restructuring, and psychologists can value its function depending on what they see to achieve in the long run.

Freud’s participation in creating a better understanding of ego allows a psychologist to tell apart from its three phases. Ideally, the ego plays the part of personality whereby it meditates the demands made by the id, reality, and superego. As illustrated earlier, it helps an individual not to act upon their basic urges but work towards achieving a balance between the moral and idealistic standards. Its strong ties towards the id imply that it can operate in the unconscious state despite it being present in the conscious and preconscious. Moreover, it operates on the reality principle in a bid to satisfy the id’s demands or desires in a realistic and socially appropriate manner.

The Id

It is a disorganized part of an individual’s personality structure, which contains the basic human instinctual drives (Solms 5). What makes it unique is that it is the only personality that exists within a human being since they were born and remains part and parcel of their lives. Therefore, it controls the bodily wants, impulses, needs and plays a part in aggressive and sexual drives. These features allow it to stand out against the other two personalities and works towards defining an individual. It contains libido; a primary source of one’s instinctual force, which can be unresponsive towards the demands made in reality (Solms 12). The psychic force motivates one to the seek immediate gratification from any impulse. Moreover, it plays a crucial part towards displeasure or avoids pain aroused by the increase in instinctual tension.

Freud defines the id as the dark and inaccessible part of a human being’s personality, and the little people know of it comes from an immersive study of the dream work and neurotic symptoms (Solms 7). However, the negative character of an individual plays a major role in defining their definition of contrast to the ego they possess inherentlty. Therefore, psychologists approach the id with certain analogies such as chaos or excitations due to its energy that arises from instincts. However, it lacks an organization and produces no collective will, which might prove to be an issue towards people without self-control or will (Solms 17). Nevertheless, it allows one to strive towards bringing about a satisfaction of their instinctual needs and observe a certain principle of pleasure.

The id tends to have contrary impulses that exist side by side and do not cancel out on each other (Solms 21). Therefore, there is nothing present in the id one can compare with negation or correspond to their ideology of the time. With time, the id restructures itself to be the ego; the physic apparatus, which begins at birth in an undifferentiated id develops to a structured ego. Therefore, the id contains everything present from birth and lays it down in their construction towards being an ego (Solms 25). The instincts find their first psychical expression in various forms commonly present in people. Through time and experience, one continues to define their relationship with others and works towards expressing themselves in ways that might please others or work hand in hand with certain demographics defined by the society.

It would be true to state that the mind of a new board tends to be completely id-ridden and the sense of mass instinctiveness of impulses and drives, leads to the need for immediate satisfaction of one’s emotions and feelings. In such a case, the id does not know the judgments of value, good, evil or morality as it relies upon the instinctual cathexes, which seek to discharge themselves from one’s body. The id remains present in the body of every human being till their death, whereby Freud defines it as the death drive, which propels one to have a hypothesis about their death instinct (Jian 612). The instinct would express itself, probably in as a part of destruction and work against the external world as well as other organisms. The id, as expressed by Freud, stands out as the instinctual impulses that drive one to destructive instinct and life instincts.

The Ego

With an in-depth perspective towards the id, it is easy for one to understand the ego and the roles it plays towards one’s development. It stands out as the organized part of a human being’s personality structure, which includes their intellectual-cognitive, perceptual, defensive and executive functions (Jespersen and Kroger 229). Certain structures such as conscious awareness exist in the ego though not all the operations stand out as being conscious. Originally, Feud defined the ego as a sense of self, mitigating one’s conscious and will towards certain aspects of their life. However, he redefined it to a set of psychic function which allows the body to operate or relate with day to day affairs. These functions include memory, intellectual functioning, synthesis of information, defense, reality testing, planning, control and tolerance among others (Jespersen and Kroger 231).

The ego allows one to define what is real and fake or what the society will deem as authentic (Syed and Seiffge-Krenke 371). Due to its structural functions, the ego allows one organize their thoughts in a form that makes sense to them and the society. Therefore, the ego plays a major part in the id as it modifies it towards a direct influence of the world regarding common sense and reasoning. The id tends to rely on an individual’s passion, which might lead to more commotions if one was to rely on it for day to day interaction with people (Syed and Seiffge-Krenke 371). One great example is a man and his horse. If the horse were to choose to act out by itself, it would bring damage to the man; hence the man has to guide the horse towards the right directions.

As illustrated, the ego serves three masters: the id, the super-ego and the external world and has to find a balance between the primitive drives registered by them and reality, while at the same time satisfying the super-ego and id (Wallerstein 313). Therefore, the ego’s main concern is the individual’s safety while allowing the expression some of their id’s desires. However, it has to regulate them to a point where the consequences of their desires are marginal or do not affect them at all. From its work, one tends to understand the id drives the ego, but the super-ego confines it to repulse with the struggles and reality in a bid to bring harmony (Wallerstein 313). Moreover, it navigates towards a comfortable point where the ego breaks out in anxiety towards the external world and strengths of passions registered by the id.

Therefore, the ego has to work around these measures to please the three and hem towards the danger of causing a disconnect between the two sides. It has to be loyal towards the id and prefer to loss out the finer details of reality in a bid to minimize any conflicts and at the same time pretend to understand the reality. However, the super-ego is at bay watching the moves it makes and punishes it with certain feelings of inferiority, anxiety or guilt in a bid to make it less inferior (Syed and Seiffge-Krenke 371). The ego has to employ defense mechanisms that are not direct or conscious. It lessens the tension building up in the impulses that threaten one to overreact.

The defense mechanisms come into play when the id’s behavior seeks to start a conflict with society’s taboos, morals and morals or reality (Syed and Seiffge-Krenke 371). In the end, the individual learns to internalize these taboos, norms, and morals, guiding their perspective of life and future direction. In the current modern English, the ego exists in various meanings. It could be one’s self-esteem or self-worth or a conscious thinking of self. Its development stands out as multiple processes that inflict cognitive functions, interpersonal skills, defenses or early adolescence.


The super-ego reflects one’s internalization of cultural rules taught by parents or guardians during guidance and counseling or influence. Freud develops the super-ego concept from an earlier combination of consciousness and ego’s ideal (Sletvold 1025). The installation acts as a successful instance of one’s identification with a particular parental agency guiding their development. The super-ego tends to take on one’s influence towards being an adult, where one thinks like their parents, teachers, or educators. Freud states that a child constructs their super-ego from their parents’ super-ego and not their parent’s ideal model (Sletvold 1030). Their aim works towards perfecting what their parents or guardians did not achieve. Therefore, one tends to develop individual spiritual goals, ego ideals, and psychic agency.

The super-ego tends to work contrary to the id as it strives to act in a socially acceptable manner, while the id seeks to have its self-gratification (Klein 39). Therefore, the super-ego tends to control one’s sense of guilt, right and wrong and helps them fit within the society by fusing socially acceptable ways. In most cases, the super-ego’s demand tends to oppose the id and might lead to a conflict between the two, leaving the ego to reconcile both sides. Freud’s theory tends to imply that the super-ego might be a symbolic internalization of cultural regulations and father figure (Klein 42). It stands in opposition to the id’s desires, creating a conflict in their objectives as well as the ego’s aggressiveness. However, the super-ego works towards containing their conscience and maintain a sense of perception and morality from taboos (Klein 44). A child’s state of helplessness and their Oedipus complex tends to form the ego and super-ego. The formation takes place when one seeks to identify their skillset and internalize a certain father-figure perspective. Ideally, the super-ego tends to retain the father’s character while providing a powerful Oedipus complex that will rapidly succumb to repression.

In conclusion, Sigmund Freud’s contribution towards understanding the ego psychology allows psychologists to understand the three states of human behavior. Moreover, one tends to relate better with their ego and understand certain developments during the lives. The resources and teachings provided by Freud contributed towards the development of the three states of human behavior. These concepts are ideal towards improving psychology and interpretation of certain human desires and behaviors registered by a patient.

Works Cited

  • Jespersen, Kine and Jane Kroger. “Identity status and ego development: A meta-analysis.” Identity, vol 13, no. 3 (2013): 228-241.
  • Jian, Yan. “Discussion of the Postgraduates’ Reading Views—Based on Freud’s Theory About “Ego,”“Id,” and “Super-Ego”.” US-China Education Review, vol 6, no.10 (2016): 610-613.
  • Klein, Melanie. “Early Stages of The Oedipus Complex 1.” Burke, Nancy. Gender and Envy. London: Routledge, 2014. 39-45.
  • Sletvold, Jon. “The ego and the id revisited Freud and Damasio on the body ego/self.” The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, vol 94, no .5 (2013): 1019-1032.
  • Solms, Mark. “The conscious id.” Neuropsychoanalysis, vol 15, no .1 (2013): 5-19.
  • Syed, Moin and Inge Seiffge-Krenke. “Personality development from adolescence to emerging adulthood: linking trajectories of ego development to the family context and identity formation.” Journal of personality and social psychology, vol 104, no. 2 (2013): 371.
  • Wallerstein, Robert S. “Self Psychology and “Classical” Psychoanalytic Psychology—The Nature of Their Relationship.” Reflections on Self Psychology (Psychology Revivals) (2014): 313.