Human Theory

Freud's Theory

The person could be diagrammed as a triangle with sevral sections. At the bottom is Physical needs. Above that there is Id. On the section of ID are based Ego and SuperEgo. ID translates the organism's needs into motivational forces called instincts or drives. And the id is nothing if not the psychic representative of biology. The ego, unlike the id, functions according to the reality principle, which says "take care of a need as soon as an appropriate object is found." The ego relates the organism to reality by means of its consciousness, and it searches for objects to satisfy the wishes that id creates to represent the organisms needs. However, as the ego struggles to keep the id (and, ultimately, the organism) happy, it meets with obstacles in the world. It occasionally meets with objects that actually assist it in attaining its goals. And it keeps a record of these obstacles and aides. In particular, it keeps track of the rewards and punishments meted out by two of the most influential objects in the world of the child - mom and dad. This record of things to avoid and strategies to take becomes the superego. There are two aspects to the superego: One is the conscience, which is an internalization of punishments and warnings. The other is called the ego ideal. It derives from rewards and positive models presented to the child. The conscience and ego ideal communicate their requirements to the ego with feelings like pride, shame, and guilt.
Dr. C. George Boeree, Psychology Department, Shippensburg University
Human Theory
Oil pastels, 2002

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