ego ideal

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In psychoanalysis, an internal notion of personal perfection serving as a model to which one strives to conform, derived from the fusion of narcissism and early identification (2) with parents. Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) introduced the concept in 1914 in an article ‘On Narcissism: An Introduction’, where its origins in narcissism were clearly stated: ‘What man projects before him as his ideal is the substitute for the lost narcissism of his childhood in which he was his own ideal’ (Standard Edition, XIV, pp. 73–102, at p. 94), and he used it in a central role to explain social phenomena in his book Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921, Standard Edition, XVIII, pp. 69–143). In his later book New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1932/3), he described it as one of the three functions of the superego, the other two being self-observation and conscience (1933, Standard Edition, XXII, pp. 5–182, at p. 66).

Subjects: Psychology.

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