superego

(redirected from superegos)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

superego

 [soo″per-e´go]
in psychoanalytic theory, a part of the psyche derived from both the id and the ego, which acts, largely unconsciously, as a monitor over the ego. It is that part of the personality concerned with social standards, ethics, and conscience. Early in life the superego is formed by the infant's identification with parents and other significant and esteemed persons in his or her life. The real or supposed expectations of these persons gradually are accepted as general rules of society and help form the “conscience.” The superego tends to be self-critical and in psychotic and anxious persons strong feelings of guilt and unworthiness can lead to self-punitive measures in an effort to resolve conflicts between the id, ego, and superego.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

su·per·e·go

(sū'pĕr-ē'gō),
In psychoanalysis, one of three components of the psychic apparatus in the freudian structural framework, the other two being the ego and the id. It is an outgrowth of the ego that has identified itself unconsciously with important people, such as parents, from early life, and results from incorporating the values and wishes of these people and subsequently societal norms as part of one's own standards to form the "conscience."
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

superego

(so͞o′pər-ē′gō)
n. pl. supere·gos
In Freudian 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 ego.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

su·per·e·go

(sū'pĕr-ē'gō)
psychoanalysis One of the three components of the psychic apparatus in the freudian structural framework, the other two being the ego and the id. It is an outgrowth of the ego that has identified itself unconsciously with important people, such as parents, from early life, and results from incorporating the values and wishes of these people and subsequently societal norms as part of one's own standards to form the "conscience."
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

superego

A psychoanalytic term for the conscience. See also FREUDIAN THEORY.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Initially, adults outside the family come to share the parental role, including that of shaping the superego:
Identifications then come about with these later parents as well, and indeed they regularly make important contributions to the formation of character; but in that case they only affect the ego, they no longer influence the super-ego, which has been determined by the earliest parental imagos.(58) First the personal stamp of the actual parents is eroded from the superego by the imprints of other parental figures.
This answer implies that the child possesses an evaluative faculty that is independent of the received values preserved in his superego.
What now begins to emerge is that the superego is not a final or ultimate authority in the Freudian psyche.
The secondary position of the superego in the order of normative authority raises a question about Freud's account of morality.
To those who do not share Freud's moral skepticism, the superego's lack of ultimate normative authority is a reason for denying that it plays the role of moral authority.
The Freudian superego lacks ultimate authority, then, because it reflects the child's infatuation with his parents, which is superseded in maturity by evaluative reasoning undertaken by the ego under norms of rationality.
So perhaps the superego really can be the Categorical Imperative.
Freud also identified the superego with the Kantian "moral law within us" (New Introductory Lectures, S.E.
22:78 [97], where the superego is said to punish the ego with "tense feelings of inferiority and of guilt." How can the ego be punished with feelings of guilt, if feelings of guilt consist in the fear of this very punishment?
If Gewissensangst is castration anxiety redirected at the superego, then it is actually misdirected and cannot be explained by any real danger.
(22) Commentators on Freud tend to use the term `topographical' to distinguish Freud's earlier model of unconscious, preconscious, and conscious minds from his later, "structural" model of id, ego, and superego. In their terminology, the location of fear with respect to ego and superego would be a matter of structure, not topography.