Psychology in Writing: The Id – Introduction



Freud conceptualized the human mind into a structural model consisting of three components, the Id, the Ego, and the Super Ego.  Through these three “voices” individuals arrive at a particular decision or action.  Individuals are not always aware of the inter-psychic conflict as it


Freud's diagrams from 'The Ego and the Id' (1923)

Freud’s diagrams from ‘The Ego and the Id’ (1923) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


frequently occurs in the unconscious leaving people with a lack of insight into how they arrived at a particular outcome.  In well-functioning individuals, these three processes work in harmony allowing for the person to be congruent in their thoughts, wants, and actions.  When they are misaligned or individuals are not aware of these processes, individuals are not able to make the best decisions, which can lead to neuroses or other negative behaviors.


The Id itself is the only one of the three components present at birth, it consists of individuals natural drives.  The Id is the source of:


  • Bodily needs
  • Wants
  • Desires Impulses
  • Sexual and Aggressive drives


These drives are deep seated, which means that the Id exists solely in the unconscious mind.  This means that it pushes us towards things without our conscious awareness .


Freud postulated that it works on a “pleasure principle,” meaning that it seeks immediate gratification to get its needs met in order to have a “pleasurable survival” and avoid “displeasure” without regard to the demands of reality.  The Id is the manifestation of the libido and Thanatos, the drive to live and thrive, which can be demonstrated in sexual impulses (to live and thrive) or through aggression (to destroy to get needs met).



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