Definition of superego in English:



  • The part of a person's mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards learned from parents and teachers.

    ‘the father is the model for the superego’
    Compare with ego and id
    [as modifier] ‘true schizophrenias lack the superego elements present in paranoia’
    • ‘Normally, if I wanted to rob a bank, the superego or conscience would force a delay, and the trigger is the anxiety [I would feel] in anticipation of doing something wrong.’
    • ‘Freud approaches this situation by way of the model of the primeval id set against the cultivations of the superego; Marcuse counterpoints the libidinous Eros impulse against the regulating structures of Civilisation.’
    • ‘His need for order, form, and tradition is a substitute for the id impulses that are repressed by his strong superego.’
    • ‘This sense of conscience-whether individually internalized or mandated by a collective consciousness-forces the superego to engage in battle with the harsh aggressiveness that the ego would like to inflict upon others.’
    • ‘This is in no small way directly attributable to the never-ending battle between my three psychosocial building blocks, in which my id and ego battle the superego for supremacy in times of woe, happiness and all between.’