Sigmund Freud's Super Ego Theory

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Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who, in the late 1800 turned to psychology to understand a patient which didn’t fit into any medical diagnosis. This case would prove to be a turning point in Freud’s career. He would go on to develop many theories of the human mind and be considered the father of psychoanalysis. One of his most enduring theories is that of human consciousness. Freud’s theory described human consciousness to be likened to an iceberg; the small exposed tip being our consciousness and the vast structure underwater representing our unconsciousness. From there, he broke the iceberg of human psyche into three parts, the id, ego, and super ego.
Freud described the id as the primitive and instinctive part of our personality
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There are two systems operating in the super ego; conscience and ideal self. Conscience can either make a person feel guilt or reward. If the ego gives into the instinctual socially unacceptable, demands of the id, the super ego causes guilt. However, if the ego does not give into the id, and makes a morally correct choice, the super ego makes the person feel content and happy. The second part of the super ego, ideal self, is described as the imaginary picture everyone has of what they should be. What their career should be, how they treat others, and how to behave as members of society are all parts of the ideal self picture. When a person meets the criteria laid out by their ideal self, they super ego rewards them with feelings of pride. However, if a person does not meet that image, the super ego can “punish” with feelings of inadequacy and guilt. The super ego is largely influenced by the values a person is raised with and their upbringing, which explains why people’s moral compasses have so much variance.
Given the strenuous job the ego has running interference between the id and super ego,
Freud developed the theory of defense mechanisms. The mechanisms are our
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It is a very dangerous and primitive defense which often works in conjunction with another defense. Denial is seen a lot in addiction. How often are alcoholics or junkies confronted with the truth of their problem just to say that they don’t have a problem, people just need to mind their own business? Regression is a psychological movement back in time. When a person becomes frightened or stressed, their behavior often becomes more primitive and instinctual. During times of natural disaster, people become more primitive. Citizens that have never committed a crime in their life can be found looting. Fights break out over basic necessities as people resort back to relying on their id to make decisions. Another less extreme example is when in times of grief, a person may cling to a favorite childhood toy or stuffed animal, which they used as a security blanket when they were young. Rationalization is a cognitive distortion of the facts. We do this on a semi- conscious level and use rationalization to justify or make excuses for our actions and behaviors.
Our car may not be new and fancy, but it is paid for and runs reliably. But by

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