What Freud thought of Personality?


Human personality is multifaceted and contains multiple components, according to Sigmund Freud. In his famous psychoanalytic theory, Freud states that personality is formed of three aspects known as the id, the ego, and the superego. Complex human behaviours are the result of the interaction of these factors. Each element contributes something distinctively different to personality, and the three interact in ways that have a significant impact on a person. At various times during life, each personality trait manifests itself.

Some components of your personality, according to Freud’s idea, are more primordial and may push you to act on your most fundamental needs. Other facets of your personality try to restrain these impulses and force you to comply with reality’s requirements.


  • The id, according to Freud, is the main element of personality because it is the source of all psychic energy.
  • The only aspect of personality that is present from birth is the id.
  • This element of personality, which consists of innate and primordial behaviours, is essentially unconscious.

The pleasure principle, which aims for instant fulfilment of all needs, wants, and desires, is what motivates the id. A condition of tension or anxiety results if these demands are not met right away. An increase in hunger or thirst, for instance, should prompt a prompt attempt to eat or drink.

Examples of the ID

Consider attempting to persuade a baby to delay eating until lunchtime. Because the other facets of personality have not yet developed, the id has to be satisfied right away, and the baby will wail until these demands are met. Nevertheless, meeting these demands right away isn’t always practical or even feasible. If the pleasure principle were our sole guiding principle, we might find ourselves snatching the things we desire from others to sate our appetites. 

The id is a portion of personality that persists throughout life, even though humans eventually learn to manage it. People can restrain their primary d’s inclinations and behave in ways that are both practical and socially acceptable thanks to the development of their ego and superego.

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  • Freud claimed that the ego, which emerges from the id, allows the impulse id’s to be expressed in ways that are appropriate for everyday life.
  • The conscious, preconscious, and unconscious minds are where the ego operates.
  • The personality trait in charge of coping with reality is the ego.

Each person has an ego. But, personality and ego are not the same thing. Your unified consciousness of your personality is sometimes referred to as your ego. Your entire personality is made up of more than simply your ego. The reality principle, which guides the ego’s operations, aims to fulfil the id’s goals in ways that are reasonable and acceptable to society. When choosing to act on or ignore impulses, the reality principle assesses the advantages and disadvantages of a course of action.

The informal term “ego” is frequently used to imply that a person has an exaggerated sense of self. The ego in personality does, however, have a benefit. It is the aspect of your personality that keeps you rooted in reality and resists the ID and superego’s attempts to sway you too strongly in the direction of your most primal desires or morally upright ideals. A great feeling of self-awareness is a sign of a strong ego.

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Examples of The EGO

Imagine being sucked into a protracted meeting at work. The longer the conference goes on, the hungrier you feel. The ego directs you to wait patiently for the conference to end while the id may urge you to get up from your chair and head to the break room for a snack.

The rest of the conference is spent daydreaming about eating a cheeseburger instead of giving in to the id’s primitive urges. When the conversation is finally done, you can look for the imagined thing and meet the id’s needs realistically and appropriately.


  • The superego is the last aspect of personality to form. Freud believed that the superego first appears at about age five.
  • The internalized moral principles and ideals that we pick up from our parents and society are stored in the superego (our sense of right and wrong).
  • The superego offers standards for making decisions.

Superego consists of two parts:

  • The conscience contains knowledge of things that society and parents deem to be wrong. These actions are frequently prohibited and frequently result in negative outcomes, sanctions, or regretful emotions.
  • The ego ideal encompasses the rules and standards for behaviors that the ego strives to.

The superego aims to refine and elevate our conduct. It fights to get the ego to behave according to idealistic norms rather than on actual principles, suppressing all of the id’s undesirable inclinations. The conscious, preconscious, and unconscious all contain the superego.

Examples of The SUPEREGO

A woman has the impulse to burglarize her workplace to take goods. Her superego, however, resists this temptation by emphasising on how improper such behaviours are.

A man discovers that one of the products in his cart was not charged for by the store’s cashier. His inherent feeling of justice and wrong compels him to go back to the store to pay for the item.

What Takes Place in the Event of an Imbalance?

Id, ego, and superego must all be in balance for a personality to be considered healthy, according to Freud.

A balanced and healthy personality develops when the ego can successfully balance the needs of reality, the id, and the superego. According to Freud, an unbalance between these factors would result in a dysfunctional personality.

For instance, someone with an excessively strong id may develop impulsive, unmanageable, or even criminal behavior. Such a person doesn’t give a damn about what is right, acceptable, or legal; they just act on their most primal inclinations.

Yet, an excessively moralistic and judgmental mentality may result from an overpowering superego. If the superego is in charge, the person may find it impossible to accept anything or anyone they consider to be “evil” or “immoral.”

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