Sigmund Freud believed the personality comprises of three components – the id, ego and supergo.
This is the instinctive, genetically inherited part of the personality. It remains infantile throughout the individuals life, always seeking instant gratification and to reduce excitation to a minimum. The id is said to be driven by the ‘Pleasure Principle’. It is sometimes referred to as the child.
The ego is the executive of the personality and is governed by the ‘Reality Principle’. It manages decision making and planning and is the responsible, logical part of the personality. The ego learns as we grow and is able to determine the difference between a desire and reality – something the id cannot so. It is sometimes referred to as the adult.
Freud believed that we cannot call ourselves moral beings until our superego is developed. The superego is like a governing parent over the ego, giving out orders, judging it and threatening it with punishment (in the form of guilt) when it doesn’t obey these orders. because of these characteristics it is sometimes referred to as the parent.