Structural model: The id, ego, and superego
The concept of id impulses comes from Sigmund Freud’s structural model. According to this
theory, id impulses are based on the pleasure principle: instant gratification of one's own desires
and needs. Sigmund Freud believed that the id represents biological instinctual impulses in ourselves, such as aggression (Thanatos or the Death instinct) and sexuality (Eros or the Life
instinct). For example, when the id impulses (e.g. desire to have sexual relations with a stranger) conflict with the superego (e.g. belief in societal conventions of not having sex with unknown persons), unsatisfied feelings of anxiousness or feelings of anxiety come to the surface. To reduce these negative feelings, the ego might use defence mechanisms (conscious or unconscious blockage of the id impulses).
Freud also believed that conflicts between these two structures resulted in conflicts associated with psychosexual stages.
The iceberg metaphor is often used to explain the psyche's parts in relation to one another. Definitions of individual psyche structures
Freud proposed three structures of the psyche or personality:
; Id: ID is the unconscious reservoir of the libido, the psychic energy that fuels instincts
and psychic processes. It is a selfish, childish, pleasure-oriented part of the personality
with no ability to delay gratification.
; Superego: It is making decision regarding the pleasure perceived by the ID and the
morals of superego. Internalized societal and parental standards of "good" and "bad",
"right" and "wrong" behaviour.
; Ego: Individual's morals divided into the conscious - security rules and regulations. the
moderator between the id and superego which seeks compromises to pacify both. It can
be viewed as our "sense of time and place",
Primary and secondary processes
In the ego, there are two ongoing processes. First there is the unconscious primary process, where the thoughts are not organized in a coherent way, the feelings can shift, contradictions are not in conflict or are just not perceived that way, and condensations arise. There is no logic and no time
Lust is important for this process. By contrast, there is the conscious secondary process, line.
where strong boundaries are set and thoughts must be organized in a coherent way. Most conscious thoughts originate here.
The reality principle
Id impulses are not appropriate in civilized society, so society presses us to modify the pleasure principle in favour of the reality principle; that is, the requirements of the external world. Formation of the superego
The superego forms as the child grows and learns parental and social standards. The superego consists of two structures: the conscience, which stores information about what is "bad" and what
has been punished, and the ego ideal, which stores information about what is "good" and what one
"should" do or be.
The ego's use of defense mechanisms
When anxiety becomes too overwhelming, it is then the place of the ego to employ defense mechanisms to protect the individual. Feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame often
accompany the feeling of anxiety. In the first definitive book on defense mechanisms, The Ego
and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936), Anna Freud introduced the concept of signal anxiety;
she stated that it was "not directly a conflicted instinctual tension but a signal occurring in the ego of an anticipated instinctual tension". The signaling function of anxiety is thus seen as a crucial one and biologically adapted to warn the organism of danger or a threat to its equilibrium. The anxiety is felt as an increase in bodily or mental tension and the signal that the organism receives in this way allows it the possibility of taking defensive action regarding the perceived danger. Defense mechanisms work by distorting the id impulses into acceptable forms, or by unconscious or conscious blockage of these impulses.