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Ego vs. Superego

The main difference between Ego and Superego is that Ego is common sense, whereas Superego is morality.

Key Differences

The ego is developed eventually since childhood with a single factor of reality. In contrast, the superego is developed, mainly depending on the internalization of the world’s view, standards, parental influences, and the environment.
Janet White
May 06, 2020
The ego is defined as the psyche’s part that develops after the id at the age of 3 years, whereas the superego is the psyche’s part that develops after the ego at the age of 5 years.
The ego controls the impulses generated from id, which helps it in developing several defense mechanisms like repression, reaction formation, projection, regression, denial, rationalization, and sublimation. On the other hand, the superego stands in opposition to the requirements, ambitions, and imaginations generated by id.
The ego is a common sense, consisting of memory, leniency, recollection, judgment, comprehension, and scheming. On the flip side, the superego is a conscience associated with ethics and spiritual values, reminding one to be right always.
The ego tries to appease as well as control id’s demands at the same time. In contrast, the superego mostly contradicts the unreasonable demands of the immature id, mainly in the characteristics of moral and ethical notions.
The ego is more related to unconsciousness that is subjected toward appeasing of id, whereas the superego always contradicts the unconscious either by encouraging or discouraging.

Comparison Chart


The realistic and controlling component of the mind is called the ego.
The moralizing and criticizing components of the mind are called the superego.


Maintain a balance among reality, superego, and id
Confines both ego and id for consequences of their actions

Relation with Id

Tries to please and control the id at the same time
Controls and contradicts the id

Refers To

Common sense
Aimie Carlson
May 06, 2020

Concerned For

Long-term benefits and consequences of actions
Rules and regulations regarding a person’s actions and their effects
Aimie Carlson
May 06, 2020

Consists Of

Reasoning, tolerance, memory, understanding, judgment, and planning
Punishments, warnings, ego-ideal, rewards, and positive reinforcements

Responsible For

Reality testing and personal identification
Ideal social standards
Harlon Moss
May 06, 2020

Relay Center

Part of mind that acts as a relay center between conscious and unconscious
Part of mind that act as a relay center for self-critical conscience
Janet White
May 06, 2020

Age of Development

At the age of 3 years
At the age of 5 years

Ego and Superego Definitions


The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.


In psychoanalytic theory, the division of the unconscious that is formed through the internalization of moral standards of parents and society and that censors and restrains the rest of the psyche.


In psychoanalytic theory, the division of the psyche that is conscious, is responsible for our feelings of selfhood, and most directly interacts with external reality.


(psychoanalysis) The part of the mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards that have been learnt.


An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.


(psychoanalysis) that part of the unconscious mind that acts as a conscience


Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.


The self, especially with a sense of self-importance.


The most central part of the mind, which mediates with one's surroundings.


The conscious and permanent subject of all psychical experiences, whether held to be directly known or the product of reflective thought; the subject consciously considered as "I" by a person; - opposed to non-ego.


That one of the three parts of a person's psychic apparatus that mediates consciously between the drives of the id and the realities of the external physical and social environment, by integrating perceptions of the external world and organizing the reactions to it. Contrasted with the id and superego.


Egotism; as, a job requiring a diplomat without too much ego.


Self-esteem; as, he has an overinflated ego.


An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others


Your consciousness of your own identity


(psychoanalysis) the conscious mind

Ego vs. Superego

The part of the mind, which mediates between conscious and subconscious, is called ego. In contrast, the part of the mind, which is a self-critical conscience, is called the superego. The ego refers to reality. In contrast, the superego refers to perfectionism, a sense of ideality that is learned from parents and teachers.

The ego comprises reasoning, judgment, understanding, and planning. On the other hand, the superego is comprised of punishments, warnings, and rewards. The ego can be defined as having a realistic approach to life, whereas the superego is the last component toward the critical and moralizing part.

The ego is mainly related to long-term benefits and results of actions. On the flip side, the superego is concerned about rules and other norms in dealing with a person’s actions and possessions. The ego acts as a bridge between id and superego, which are parts of the psyche of the brain. On the other hand, the superego confines both id and ego for the consequences of their actions.

The leading role of the ego is maintaining the balance between the conscious and unconscious. In contrast, the leading role of the superego is confining the mind in the boundaries of norms and morality, and restricting them from becoming socially unacceptable.

The ego manages to deal with id part of the psyche, pleasing as well as controlling it at the same time. On the flip side, the superego directly contradicts the id, limiting the human actions by keeping their consequences in mind.

What is Ego?

The ego is defined as the part of id that has been altered by the uninterrupted influence of the external world. The ego develops to mediate between a real-world and an unrealistic id. The ego develops after the development of id, which is beyond reality.

The ego develops at the age of 3 years, after which sense of reality is being produced in an individual. The ego is the decision-making factor that determines the personality of an individual. The ego works by logical reasoning, whereas id is absurd, unrealistic, and unreasonable.

The ego works considering the social standards and protocols, often negotiating or suspending satisfaction to escape negative concerns and comments of society. The ego helps a person how to behave and satisfy the id’s demands by working out realistically.

The ego lends a hand in appeasing and pleasing id’s demands as well as control its chaotic attitude by confining it into social norms. The ego resembles id in seeking pleasure and reducing stress but contradicts id in devising a realistic strategy to obtain pleasure. The ego has no discernment of right or wrong as its only determination is achieving satisfaction without causing damage either to itself or its id.

In most cases, the ego is weak, and the id is strong. The primary purpose of the ego is to give id the right direction and claim credit itself hor heading toward the right direction. Its example is made by the correspondence of id being horse, while ego being the rider.

What is Superego?

Superego is defined as a sense of morality and goodness that controls the limitless id. Superego is developed after the development of id and ego at the age of 5 years. During the 3-5 years, the phallic stage of psychosexual development, superego, is technologically advanced and nourished.

The main role in its development is played by teachers and parents that teach a child to differentiate good from the bad. This ideal behavior, being the basis of the superego, controls the id’s impulses, especially those that are forbidden by society, i.e., hostility and antagonism.

The superego forces the ego to turn its goals from striving for reality to moralistic goals striving for perfection. The superego is comprised of two classifications. The first one is the conscience, which can discipline the ego by producing feelings of guiltiness. For example, if the ego rejects the id’s demands and enforces an individual to strive for reality, the superego may make the person feel bad and guilty.

The second classification of the superego is the ideal self. The ideal self is also called ego-ideal, which demonstrates an imaginary picture of how things should be, how to treat other people, how to represent yourself in society, etc.

The perfect picture of the world, yourself, and people linked to you is reflected by the ideal self category of the superego. The superego may punish us if we neglected the ideal self, or it may make us feel proud if we behaved properly following the ideal self.

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