Friends today I am going to write about views of Psychoanalysis Theory about Human Personality. Although Psychoanalysis is a vast theory and it involves many things, but we will restrict ourselves to the discussion of three basic aspect of Personality as propounded by its founder Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud was a neurologist of Vienna, according to whom Human personality is a three tier concept consisting of ID, EGO and SUPER EGO.
ID- According to Freud ID is a darker side of human personality, it works on the principle of instant pleasure or instant satisfaction. Whatever thing it requires to satisfy the instinctual drives or to derive pleasure from, it wants on an immediate basis. For instance if a child feels hungry it immediately starts crying and doesn’t stop till it is not feed by mother. It’s not that only children have Id and adults are free from its effect, in fact according to Freud every human being whenever behaves selfishly she is motivated by Id. Aggression, domination, lust, lure, passion, brutality are all ways by which ID expresses its desire. For example a person takes bribe to satisfy the lust of money, a politician plays vote bank politics to get power by which they can satisfy their demand of domination, Polygamy or Polyandry is a way by which men or women can satisfy their desire for passion and domination.
EGO- Don’t go on literary meaning of this term. Usually we take ego in the sense of pride, but Freud used the term Ego to describe another aspect of personality which works on “Reality principle”. When a child is born its demands are very limited mostly confined to biological domain like hunger, sleep, thrust and hygiene which can be fulfilled by mother but as it grow older its demands increases and it’s not possible to complete all the demands by following rules and standards of a civilized society.
Here Ego comes into play, Ego has mainly two jobs first it try to find out the way by which a demand of ID are completed without breaking the rules of society. For instance if a boy gets attracted toward a beautiful girl and wants to have a sex with her than it’s not possible to fulfill this desire in a socially acceptable way without girl’s consent and if boy forces a girl than he may be charged for rape. Hence Ego motivates boy to fantasize about girl while masturbating, so that boy’s desire is fulfilled without crossing the boundary of social rules.
However it’s not always possible to find a midway between desires of Id and Social norms. For instance if an ordinary person wants to become billionaire than these desire will not get fulfilled by just fantasizing about becoming billionaire. It will require a lot of hard work and lots of time to become billionaire and even after giving all that it is not guaranteed that a person will become billionaire and Ego wants to achieve the pleasure in a shortest possible way. Naturally in such condition person has to adopt one out of many such ways by which one can quickly become rich, like giving and taking bribe, adulteration, fraud, smuggling, cheating, extortion etc. here Ego looks after that even after indulging in illegal and anti social work person should remain safe.
This is the reason why all the laws in the world are accompanied by proportionate punishment. Whenever the law is enacted it is clearly mentioned in the law that if you break so and so law you will get so and so punishment so that it limits the options of Ego. since Ego doesn’t care about right and wrong, moral and immoral, legal and illegal what it cares about is that Id’s desire should be fulfilled in quickest and easiest possible way without rendering any harm to person concerned. For instance many times it happen that we feel so much angry about somebody that we want to kill that person, but we usually don’t do that because our Ego knows that if we kill that person than we will face capital punishment and Ego doesn’t allow us to indulge in self harming activity.
SUPER EGO- Super Ego the term coined by Freud is somewhat synonymous to the term conscience. According to Freud whenever we do something, wrong or immoral the feeling of guilt which stings us comes from Super Ego. However Freud’s Super Ego is much more than just conscience, actually it involves two aspects. Collection of notions of right and wrong, moral and immoral, acceptable and unacceptable, good and bad, justice and injustice, virtuous and sin form one aspect of Freud’s Super Ego. As the child grows up above mentioned notions are injected into child by Parents, society, laws, education and culture. The other aspect of Super Ego is concept of her ideal person or her Hero, like whom a person wants to be in future. Here two things needs to be noted that my ideal person need not be some person living in the present time, he or she may be a personality from past and second my ideal would not be a typical copy paste of either someone from present or from past. For instance, if I say that Gandhi is my Ideal than it doesn’t mean that I want to be a Xerox copy of Mahatma Gandhi. I will remove all those negative or minus points from Mahatma Gandhi’s personality which I don’t like or with which I don’t agree and will add some positive points or virtues of Sardar Patel, Or lord Krishna or Shivaji Maharaj which I like and my imaginary Hero would be a combination of virtues of all of them. If there is a less distance between my Ideal self(Hero) and my real self then my level of self esteem and self efficacy will be high on the contrary if there is wide gap between my ideal self and real self than it creates frustration.
Since Super Ego is totally a product of environment, culture has very high influence in formation of notions and image of Hero. For instance those who indulge in honor killing don’t feel guilty for their act, because their culture has long time history of honor killing and in such culture people are taught from childhood that those who break the rules of society are sinners and by killing them you are protecting the culture. Similarly some jihadi terrorist consider Osama bin Laden as their Hero. Second thing, Super Ego is dynamic mental set. With growing experience of life image of Hero and notions of right and wrong both changes.
Thus today we learned about Psychoanalysis Theory of Personality, however remember two things this is one of the many theories of personality hence personality should not be judged form one point of view only and Freud’s theory is not free from criticisms.