Ego vs Superego: Difference and Comparison

Psychology is filled with hundreds and thousands of concepts studying the human brain, human behavior, human personality, and reaction to every action in detail.

The ego and Superego set the foundation stones in the psychology concept to study the structure of the psyche or exactly the mind. However, the man behind these concepts is Sigmund Freud, who is a leading figure in the field of psychology.

Key Takeaways

  1. The ego is responsible for managing an individual’s conscious and unconscious desires, while the superego is responsible for enforcing moral and ethical standards.
  2. Ego operates based on the reality principle, whereas the superego operates based on the morality principle.
  3. While the ego strives for balance between the id and the external world, the superego strives for perfection and imposes a sense of guilt and shame on the individual.

Ego vs Superego

In Freudian psychology, the “ego” refers to the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. The “superego” is the ethical component of the personality and provides the moral standards by which the ego operates.

Ego vs Superego

Ego refers to that part of the psyche that is realistic, and it is also the controlling component. It puts more emphasis on the long-term advantages and consequences of a certain action. However, the ego is also responsible for maintaining a balance between reality, Id, and Superego.

The relationship between ego and Id can be considered as a pleasing one where the ego tries a lot to control the Id. The ego is also considered common sense. The development of the ego took place after Id was developed, which was at three years of age.

Superego is the last component and moralizing part of the psyche and is also critical by characteristic. It nearly functions the same as the ego. However, it also emphasizes other rules and norms when it deals with a certain action of a man and its consequences. The Superego comprises both the ego and the id.

It also emphasizes on consequences of an action. The relationship between the Superego and Id can be considered as contradictory. It is also known as conscience. Superego was developed after five years of the development of the ego.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEgoSuperego
DefinitionEgo refers to that part of the psyche, which is realistic and the controlling component.Superego is the moralising and critical part of the psyche, which is the last component.
EmphasisConsequences of certain actions, long term benefits.Functions the same as ego, rules and norms while dealing with a certain action by a man and its consequences.
CharacteristicBalance is maintained between reality, Id and Superego.It comprises of both ego and id and emphasizes the consequences of the action.
Relationship with IdPleasing one where the ego tries a lot to control the Id.Contradictory in nature.
GeneralisationEgo is generalized as common sense.The superego is generalized as conscience.
DevelopmentThe development of ego took place after Id was developed at three years of age.Superego was developed after five years of development of the ego.

What is Ego?

The ego is a reality-oriented part of the model. However, the ego is considered as a rational and organized part of the brain or model. According to the principle of reality, ego functions.

Id apart the mind or psyche, which seeks fantasies, Passion, impulses, and also the rest of human instincts. Unlike the Id, the ego keeps control of the Id. However, the control is subjected to reality and environmental factors.

Up to a certain extent, the ego also pleases the Id. It worries about the benefits in the long run and the consequences. The ego uses two mechanisms while it tries to control Id. Those mechanisms are delayed gratification and instant gratification.

It means ego negotiates with the id in the field of gratification. Ego is amended by the situations and events and is called the common sense of an individual. It is also affected by the external environment.

ego

What is Superego?

The importance of the Superego is to maintain a moralizing role and a critical one on an individual. Superego comes in direct contradiction with the Id. According to the Superego, Id opposes the norms and rules set by society directly.

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The attribution of the Superego is done by conscience. It is responsible for encompassing ego ideals and spiritual goals.

Constricting the Id and ego, the Superego’s importance is to ascribe ethical and moral norms. This is done by ego by the use of shame and guilt. Superego is the third or the last component of the mind or psyche.

At five years of age, the Superego emerges. At this age, a kid follows the norms set by society and the instructions given by the parents. Its main ambition is to attain perfection and to behave appropriately according to society.

superego

Main Differences Between Ego and Superego

  1. Ego refers to that part of the psyche, which is a controlling component and also realistic. On the other hand, the Superego is the moralizing part of the psyche, which is the last component and also critical by characteristic.
  2. Ego puts more emphasis on the consequences of certain actions and the long-term benefits. On the other hand, the Superego functions nearly the same as the ego, but it also emphasizes other rules and norms while dealing with a certain action by a man and its consequences.
  3. The ego is responsible for maintaining a balance between reality, Id, and Superego. On the contrary, the Superego comprises both the ego and id and emphasizes on consequences of the action.
  4. The relationship between ego and Id is pleasing, where the ego tries a lot to control the Id. However, the relationship between the Superego and Id is contradictory.
  5. Ego is generalized as common sense. On the other hand, the Superego is generalized as conscience.
  6. The development of ego took place after Id was developed at three years of age. On the other hand, the Superego was developed after five years of development of the ego.
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References
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/21674086.1949.11925762

Last Updated : 17 August, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Ego vs Superego: Difference and Comparison”

  1. What an incredibly insightful and well-articulated article on the ego and superego! It really delves deep into the complexities of the human psyche.

    Reply
  2. The article offers an insightful exploration of the ego and superego, delving into the intricacies of the human psyche with great precision.

    Reply
  3. The article provides a comprehensive overview of the ego and superego, but it lacks critical analysis and debate of opposing theories.

    Reply
  4. The detail and precision in which the article explicates the ego and superego is truly commendable. A fascinating read!

    Reply
    • I couldn’t have said it better, Bstevens. This article offers a thorough examination of these psychological constructs.

      Reply
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  6. This article offers a thorough exploration of the ego and superego, providing valuable insight into the intricacies of human behavior.

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  7. The article effectively illustrates the differences between the ego and superego, providing a comprehensive understanding of these psychological constructs.

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  8. While the article provides a comprehensive overview of the ego and superego, it would benefit from a more engaging presentation to captivate the reader’s attention.

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  9. The article eloquently presents the distinction between the ego and superego, shedding light on their respective functions and characteristics.

    Reply

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