In psychology, the superego is split into two parts: the ego ideal and the conscience (which may be more familiar as a concept).
The ego ideal is the highly subjective set of standards by which an individual judges his or her own worth. It is built from personal experience and society's values, and it changes over time as one gains new knowledge and experiences.
The conscience is the part of the superego that monitors whether or not one has met one's ethical obligations. It does this by constantly judging one's actions against a set of internal guidelines known as "moral rules." The conscience can either approve or disapprove of one's behavior, with disapproval resulting in a feeling of guilt. Guilt leads some people to change their behavior to avoid further punishment; others simply ignore the voice of the conscience altogether.
Both the ego ideal and the conscience are parts of the human psyche. They both exist within everyone, but they are most fully developed in some individuals. If you are one of these people, you have strong senses of self-worth and what is right and wrong that come from your developed ego ideal and conscience. You may also find help through counseling to work on any issues that might be preventing you from forming a clear sense of who you are and what you should do.
The superego is the ethical component of the psyche that sets the moral standards for the ego to follow. The superego's critiques, prohibitions, and inhibitions constitute one's conscience, and its positive goals and ideals comprise one's idealized self-image, or "ego ideal."
The term "superego" comes from the Latin word meaning "above and beyond," and it refers to the part of us that keeps us honest by providing criticism and restraint when we need it most. This function of the superego is twofold: It ensures that our actions are consistent with who we are, and it helps us avoid wrongdoing by giving us feelings of disapproval when we want to act badly.
Superego personalities are responsible, hardworking, disciplined, loyal, honest, sincere, trustworthy, modest, and like others to be around them. They tend to do what they say they will do, and are often known for keeping their promises. Superego people also have very high standards for themselves and those around them. They don't like to fail or make mistakes, so they try very hard not to let these things happen.
If you were born with a strong superego, you probably feel responsible for other people and the world around you. You may also feel afraid that if you did something wrong, no one would love you anymore or punish you.
The superego attempts to inhibit the iimpulses d's and to persuade the ego to behave morally rather than realistically. The superego is the last component of personality to emerge, according to Freud's theory of psychosexual development. The id is the most fundamental, primal aspect of personality; it is there from birth. The ego is the next most basic, following the id but including it; this part of personality emerges late in childhood or early in adolescence depending on the individual. Finally, the superego comes into being at around age 12 as an extension of the ego that allows for the inhibition of instinctual drives in favor of moral behavior.
We are born with a default set of rules called "superegos" that tell us what is good and bad behavior, right and wrong. These rules come from our families and societies. They help us function within these groups by keeping us safe while also maintaining the status quo. For example, your superego tells you not to run out into the street because cars can be dangerous, so you don't do that even if the id wants to go for a ride in one. Your superego also tells you not to steal because you will get caught and punished, so you don't do that even if the id wants to have some fun for a few minutes.
As children grow up they start to realize that their parents' superegos aren't always going to be there for them to keep them safe.
The superego is frequently portrayed by an angel perched on someone's shoulder, reminding the ego to base his or her actions on how they will affect society. The ego is the aspect of our personalities that maintains a balance between our instincts (our id) and our conscience (our superego). Thus, the superego helps us behave like good citizens while the id provides us with the energy we need to survive.
The superego can also be described as our internal guardian who monitors our behavior and punishes us if we violate the laws of society. This role often causes children who are not given enough attention or freedom when young to suffer from depression as an adult. The superego keeps us honest by punishing us when we lie or cheat. It also prevents us from giving in to our baser instincts such as greed or violence.
In addition to this function, the superego is sometimes referred to as our "angel" because it is said to have evolved along with humanity. Like humans, angels have fallen from grace and must rely on their higher-order thoughts to guide them back toward righteousness.
Angels first appeared in religious texts over 1000 years ago. Since then, they have continued to appear in various cultures around the world. Although most people believe only human beings are capable of sinning, some spiritual leaders claim that angels fall down too.