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Difference Between Ego and Id

ego_id_bookEgo vs. Id

In the theory of Psychoanalysis, there are various concepts that are to be considered. One of which is the model of the id, ego and superego. Formulated by Sigmund Freud, this model has been regarded with much importance, especially to help individuals understand each others’ behavior.

If you draw a straight line, you can distinguish the id being at one end, while the superego is at the other end. Thus, the ego is located somewhere in between the two.

Foremost, the id is described by Freud, and many psychology experts, as the uncoordinated construct. This is purely instinctual in nature. Being unorganized, the id simply pertains to the pleasure principle of an individual. The id seeks to satisfy the subject, and in this instance, it is the individual or the person. It always wants the greatest pleasure, while trying to avoid any circumstance that creates discomfort or displeasure. The concepts of pain and tension are also avoided by the id. In theory, it has been recognized as an unconscious drive that is almost always of a negative nature.

The id identity is comparable to a newborn child. A child of this age is purely driven by impulses, compulsion and instincts. Hence, it is safe to say that the child is, by nature, filled with the id construct. That’s why babies are often seen to be more negativistic. They always want what they want, and say no to anything that others want. Ironically, if the child is the one who needs a request, the id personality in him does not consider ‘No’ as an answer. Hence, the id is originally selfish.

On the other hand, the ego, being the center of the model, places consideration on reality. It acts as a mediator between the opposite ends of the line (the id and the superego), and seeks the greater balance between the two. That’s why it is termed as the reality principle. It has a sense of justice, and tries to trim down what the id has in excess. It convinces the id to become more realistic, and considers the overall long term results. The ego is also characterized as the more organized and perceptual conscious structure. It is basically the ‘common sense’ of an individual.

1. The id is the principle that pertains to pleasure, while the ego is the principle that relates to reality.

2. The id is a disorganized, instinctual and selfish construct, while the ego is organized and perceptual.

3. This id is basically unconscious, while the ego is conscious.


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