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Human personality expressed emotions strivings and beliefs arise from a conflict between aggressive pleasure-seeking biological impulses and the social restraints against their expression Bee 2000 This conflict between expression and repression in ways that bring the achievement of satisfaction without punishment or guilt drives the development of personality Understanding an individual means understanding which defense mechanisms their subconscious has chosen and how their defenses work for them Psychotherapist Sigmund Freud based his understanding of psychological defense mechanisms on the conflict between three interacting systems the id ego and superego Freud did not propose a new anatomy but saw these terms as useful aids to understanding the minds dynamics Psychological Self-Help Available Online The id is a reservoir of unconscious psychic energy that continually seeks to satisfy basic drives to survive reproduce and aggress The id operates on the pleasure principle If unconstrained it seeks instantaneous gratification Hales Hales 1995 The id is most easily observed in a newborn child who cries out for satisfaction the moment he feels hungry tired or uncomfortable The child is unacquainted with the conditions wishes or expectations of his environment As the child learns to cope with the real world his ego develops The ego operates on the reality principle which seeks to manage the ids impulses in realistic ways yet still achieve pleasure in practical ways and avoid pain in the process The ego negotiates between the impulsive demands of the id the restraining demands of the superego and the real-life demands of the external world The ego contains partly conscious perceptions thoughts judgements and memories Around age 4 or 5 a childs ego recognizes the demands of the newly emerging superego The superego is the voice of conscience that forces the ego to consider not only reality but also morality Psychological Self-Help Available Online The superego sets the focus for how one should behave It develops as the child internalizes the morals and values of
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