The Four Components of Ego
The id, superego, and ego are a set of four concepts in modern psychoanalytic psychology relating to different, interacting entities in the psyche. The four entities are three theoretical constructs, each corresponding to certain activities and behaviors of a person, to which other elements are added.
The Id refers to an individual’s inborn personality, such as his or her basic instincts, desires, needs, and desires to act and react. The Id is usually thought of as having a single “personality” and the concept can be used as a way of identifying an individual’s unique personality. The Id serves as a source of stability and order for the individual but is not necessarily very malleable. It tends to be “fixed” and cannot be influenced by environmental, social, or cultural forces.
The Superego refers to an individual’s desire for acceptance as self. This ego is generally the most powerful. It is a state of consciousness that involves a belief that there are no limits or boundaries to the person’s power, knowledge, or ability. It is also a state of consciousness that has no specific limits to its own activities. Superego individuals can take part in their environment without regard for others.
The Ego refers to the conscious mind. It is the “true self.” Individuals with an Ego tend to take things too seriously and do not care about whether their actions will bring about good or bad results. Ego individuals have a hard time letting go of pre-conceived notions or ideas about themselves, their place in the world, or the world in general.
The Superego is the ego’s ability to control behavior based on past experience, knowledge, or intuition. It is very perceptive and has a wide range of experiences and knowledge. It takes in all information and comes to a judgment as to what it sees. In a sense, it can see things in black and white and can make decisions about how to act based on that information.
The concept of an ego is one of the many that are described in terms of how we see ourselves. As we go about our everyday lives, we will find our egos taking on various roles. These roles are not always the ones that we choose. We may begin with some self-centered thinking, then turn to a super-ego state, then to an egoistic state, then to a super-egoistic state, before finally settling into the ego state in which we are in complete control of all aspects of our lives.
There are two basic types of egos. There is the id ego who thinks he or she is the center of all being and there is the superego who has a strong feeling of identity, a feeling of “being”. The id ego sees himself as the center of the universe, the supreme being, the personification of everything he/she is, the one and only, and is self-centered, whereas the superego feels he/she is the center of everything and nothing and is self-conscious and sometimes even feels he/she is the center of everything.
The ego is the “I” or I Am” who is able to identify with all the others and take on all the others’ roles and become the “me”. We all have egos, and we have to learn how to accept ourselves for what we are.