1. The primitive being or the hedonistic self(ID)
2. The society (Superego) and
3. The mediator (Ego)
The primitive being or the hedonistic-self(ID): As the name implies, the hedonistic self is primarily concern with pleasures anything other than pleasure it doesn’t want to know. As such the hedonistic-self demands that its’ demands and wishes be met immediately without any form of interference. Hence, anything that interferes with immediate gratification of the hedonistic-self creates dissonance or discomfort in the individual.
The society (Superego): This is an individuals’ internalize code of conduct; rules and regulations, norms and values of the society. It include the concept of right and wrong, i.e what is good and what is bad, hands down by the society to the individual. These internalize code of conduct form the bases for which an individual’s concept of morality is build. The Society(Superego) is always in conflict with the irrational demands and wishes of Hedonistic self(ID).
The mediator (Ego): the name mediator, come from what Ego does. It act as a mediator in settling the continuous conflict that occur between the ID(hedonistic-self) and Superego(society). The Ego is able to achieve this through the use of various defense mechanisms and its’ contact with reality. In other words, it is said that the Ego operates on reality principle, and that it is the site of rational thought.
An example to illustrate how the ID Ego and Superego work would be a boy of 12 years without a dime on him and who is hungry.
ID: you need to eat now or else you would die
Superego: but you don’t have any money on you
ID: you can just take one of the breads over the counter and run
Superego: That is stealing and it is bad
Superego: if you are caught, you will be jailed, your name would be all over the news and even if you make it out of jail, your criminal record could stand against you getting a good job, or aspiring for any political post.
ID: but I am very hungry
Then the mediator comes in
Ego: instead of you stealing, and getting your name tarnished, why not walk over and meet the woman selling the bread, explain your plight and beg her for a bread.
Photo credit: simplypsychology.org