In psychoanalytic theory, the primitive and unconscious element of human personality is called the id.
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) believed that human personality consisted of three components: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the part of the personality composed of basic biological impulses or drives, such as eating, drinking, eliminating waste, avoiding pain, attaining sexual pleasure, and aggression. The id operates only on the pleasure principle, seeking to satisfy these basic urges immediately with no regard to consequences. Only when the ego (reality) and superego (conscience) temper these urges does the id conform to what is considered socially acceptable behavior.
According to Freud, most anxiety is caused by the conflict between the id's powerful impulses and the modifying forces of the ego and superego. When most of a person's id-driven impulses are limited by physical reality or societal norms, he may feel more intense anxiety. People express their anxiety in various ways, including nervousness, displaced aggression, and serious anxiety disorders. According to Freudian theory, learning to successfully balance the forces of the id, ego, and superego results in a healthy personality.
See also Anxiety/anxiety disorders; Conscience ; Ego ; Freud, Sigmund; Personality ; Pleasure principle ; Superego .
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