A school of psychoanalysis based on the analysis of the ego, founded in 1939 by the Austrian-born US psychoanalyst Heinz Hartmann (1894–1970), including the US-based German psychologist Ernst Kris (1901–57), the Hungarian-born US psychologist David Rapaport (1911–60), and the German-born (of Danish parentage) psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson (1902–94). The essential theme is that the ego is capable of functioning autonomously and is not confined to internal conflicts with the id and superego. Hartmann argued that gratification is gained from the sheer exercise of one's functions, as when a child is delighted by learning to walk or to draw, and Rapaport identified novelty-seeking as a self-rewarding activity. Ego psychologists reject the classical psychoanalytic theory of motivation in terms of tension reduction only. See also developmental crises, ego identity, identity crisis, psychosocial moratorium, regression in the service of the ego.
Subjects: Psychology — Social Sciences.