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Freud - The Id, Ego and Superego


            One of Freud's most significant contributions to the understanding of human thought was to describe brain activity as occurring on three levels of awareness: conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. Later in his career, Freud developed an even more sophisticated view of the brain's activity. He categorized the mental processes into three groups: id, ego, and superego. The groups fit into the levels of awareness. The id processes take place in the unconscious. The ego processes take place in the conscious. The superego mental processes take place at all three levels. These three processes can also be viewed as the little angel and devil on each of our shoulders. The id, the ego and the superego are all dependent on each other.
             According to Freud, the id is driven solely by impulses. The impulses (thirst, hunger, sexual drive) act as demands and the id seeks to satisfy these demands. The id doesn't care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction. The id, according to Freud is the only part that is present at birth. At this stage a person doesn't understand how their actions have anything to do with, or affect their surrounding environment. Thus, their actions might or might not conflict with the standards that society has placed on the individual. They have no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing. When the id wants something, nothing else is important. The id is governed by the "pleasure principle" (Neimark 92). As the child grows older, his education develops another group of mental processes, known as the ego.
             Where the id only seeks its desires, the ego is concern with reality. The ego is the balance between the Id and the Superego. This part of the brain is the reality check. The Ego helps you deal with the outside world. It is sometimes called the Executive Branch of the personality because it makes important decisions.


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