- In psychoanalysis, one of the three components of the psychic apparatus in the freudian structural framework, the other two being the id and superego. Although the e. has some conscious components, many of its functions are learned and automatic. It occupies a position between the primal instincts (pleasure principle) and the demands of the outer world (reality principle), and therefore mediates between the person and external reality by performing the important functions of perceiving the needs of the self, both physical and psychological, and the qualities and attitudes of the environment. It evaluates, coordinates, and integrates these perceptions so that internal demands can be adjusted to external requirements, and is also responsible for certain defensive functions to protect the person against the demands of the id and superego. [L. I]
* * *1) the self esp. as contrasted with another self or the world2) the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality esp. by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality compare ID, SUPEREGO
* * *n.(in psychoanalysis) the part of the mind that develops from a person's experience of the outside world and is most in touch with external realities. In Freudian terms the ego is said to reconcile the demands of the id (the instinctive unconscious mind), the superego (moral conscience), and reality.
* * *(eґgo) [L. â€œIâ€] in modern psychoanalytic theory, the psychologic segment of the personality, dominated by the reality principle, comprising integrative and executive aspects that function to adapt the forces and pressures exerted by the impulses of the id, the demands of the superego, and the requirements of external reality through conscious perception, thought, reasoning, learning, and all other activities necessary to interact effectively with the world. Cf. id1 and superego.
Medical dictionary. 2011.