Wikia

Psychology Wiki

Changes: Ego ideal

Edit

Back to page

 
 
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{ClinPsy}}
 
{{ClinPsy}}
In [[Freud|Freudian psychology]], the '''ego ideal''' (or '''ideal ego''') is "an image of the perfect self towards which the [[ego]] should aspire."<ref>[[Narcissism (psychology)#Primary narcissism]]</ref> <ref>[[Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel|Chasseguet-Smirgel, Janine]]. The ego ideal : a psychoanalytic essay on the malady of the ideal / Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel ; translated by Paul Barrows ; introduction by Christopher Lasch. 1st American ed. (English version of Idéal du moi. New York : W.W. Norton, 1985, c1984. xvi, 271 p. ; 23 cm. ISBN 0-393-01971-3 </ref>
+
The ego ideal is the inner image of oneself as one wants to become.<ref>[[Salman Akhtar]], ''Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis'' (2009) p. 89</ref> Alternatively, 'The [[Freud]]ian notion of a perfect or ideal self housed in the [[superego]]',<ref>Howard Rosenthal, ''Human Services Dictionary'' (2003) p. 102</ref> consisting of 'the individual's conscious and unconscious images of what he would like to be, patterned after certain people whom...he regards as ideal'.<ref>Eric Berne, ''A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis'' (Penguin 1976) p. 96</ref>
   
== Notes ==
+
In the French strand of [[psychoanalysis|Freudian psychology]], the ego ideal (or '''ideal ego''') has been defined as "an image of the perfect self towards which the [[Id, ego and super-ego#Ego|ego]] should aspire."<ref>Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, ''The Ego Ideal: A Psychoanalytic Essay on the Malady of the Ideal'', 1st American ed., trans. Paul Barrows, introduction by [[Christopher Lasch]] (1984; New York: W.W. Norton, 1985), originally published as ''Idéal du moi'' ([Paris]: Tchou, 1975). ISBN 0-393-01971-3.</ref>
<references/>
 
   
[[Category:Freudian psychology|Ego ideal]]
+
==Freud, ego ideal, and superego==
   
:sr:Его идеал
+
In Freud's "[[On Narcissism|On Narcissism: an Introduction]]" [1914], among other innovations - 'most important of all perhaps - it introduces the concepts of the "ego ideal" and of the self-observing agency related to it, which were the basis of what was ultimately to be described as the "super-ego" in ''[[The Ego and the Id]]'' (1923b)'.<ref>Angela Richards, "Editor's Note", in Sigmund Freud, ''On Metapsychology'' (PFL 11) p. 62</ref> Freud considered that the ego ideal was the heir to the [[narcissism]] of childhood: the 'ideal ego is now the target of the [[self-love]] which was enjoyed in childhood by the actual ego...is the substitute for the lost narcissism of his childhood'.<ref>Freud, ''On Metapsychology'' p. 88</ref>
   
  +
The decade that followed would see the concept playing an ever more important and fruitful part in his thinking. In "Mourning and Melancholia"[1917], Freud stressed how 'one part of the ego sets itself over against the other, judges it critically, and, as it were, takes it as its object'.<ref>Freud, ''On Metapsychology'' p. 256</ref> A few years later, in "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego"[1921], he examined further how 'some such agency develops in our ego which may cut itself off from the rest of the ego and come into conflict with it. We have called it the "ego ideal"...heir to the original narcissism in which the childish ego enjoyed self-sufficiency'.<ref>Sigmund Freud, ''Civilization, Society and Religion'' (PFL 12) p. 139</ref> Freud reiterated how 'in many forms of love-choice...the object serves as a substitute for some unattained ego ideal of our own', and further suggested that in group formation 'the group ideal...governs the ego in the place of the ego ideal'.<ref>Freud, ''Civilization'' p. 143 and p. 160</ref>
  +
  +
With "The Ego and the Id"[1923], however, Freud's nomenclature began to change. He still emphasised the importance of 'the existence of a grade in the ego, a differentiation in the ego, which may be called the "ego ideal" or "super-ego"',<ref>Freud, ''On Metapsychology'' p. 367</ref> but it was the latter term which now came to the forefront of his thinking. 'Indeed, after ''The Ego and the Id'' and the two or three shorter works immediately following it, the "ego ideal" disappears almost completely as a technical term'<ref>Richards, p. 348</ref> for Freud. When it briefly reappears in the "New Introductory Lectures"[1933], it was as ''part'' of 'this super-ego...the vehicle of the ego ideal by which the ego measures itself...precipitate of the old picture of the parents, the expression of admiration for the perfection which the child then attributed to them'.<ref>Sigmund Freud, ''New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis''(PFL 2) p. 96</ref>
  +
  +
===Stekel's ego-ideal===
  +
  +
[[Ernest Jones]] records that 'I once asked Freud if he regarded an "ego-ideal" as a universal attribute, and he replied with a puzzled expression: "Do you think [[Wilhelm Stekel|Stekel]] has an ego-ideal?"'.<ref>Ernest Jones, ''The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud'' (Penguin 1964) p. 403</ref>
  +
  +
==Further developments==
  +
  +
Freud's followers would continue to exploit the potential tension between the concepts of superego and ego ideal. '[[Hermann Nunberg]] defined the ideal ego as the combination of the ego and the id. This agency is the outcome of omnipotent narcissism and is manifested as pathology'.<ref>[http://www.enotes.com/psychoanalysis-encyclopedia/ego-ideal-ideal-ego Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor "Ego Ideal/Ideal Ego"]</ref> [[Otto Fenichel]], building on [[Sandor Rado]]'s 'differentiation of the "good" (i.e., protecting) and the "bad" (i.e., punishing) aspects of the superego'<ref>Otto Fenichel, ''The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis'' (London 1946) p. 412</ref> explored attempts to 'distinguish ego ideals, the patterns of what one would like to be, from the superego, which is characterized as a threatening, prohibiting, and punishing power':<ref>Fenichel, p. 106</ref> while acknowledging the linkages between the two agencies, he suggested for example that 'in humor the overcathected superego is the friendly and protective ego-ideal; in depression, it is the negative, hostile, punishing conscience'.<ref>Fenichel, p. 399</ref>
  +
  +
==In narcissism==
  +
  +
[[Melanie Klein|Kleinians]] like [[Herbert Rosenfeld]] 're-invoked Freud's earlier emphasis on the importance of the ego ideal in narcissism, and conceived of a characteristic internal object - a chimerical montage or monster, one might say - that was constructed of the ego, the ego ideal, and the "mad omnipotent self"'.<ref>James S. Grotstein, "Foreword", Neville Symington, ''Narcissism: A New Theory'' (London 1993) p. xiii-xiv</ref> In their wake, [[Otto Kernberg]] highlighted the destructive qualities of the 'infantile, [[Grandiosity|grandiose]] ego ideal' - of 'identification with an overidealized self- and object-representation, with the primitive form of ego-ideal'.<ref>Otto Kernberg, ''Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism'' (London 1990) p. 239 and p. 102</ref>
  +
  +
[[Harold Bloom]] has since explored in a literary context how 'in the narcissist, the ego-ideal becomes inflated and destructive, because it is filled with images of "perfection and omnipotence"'.<ref>Harold Bloom, ''Jay Gatsby'' (2004) p. 92</ref> Escape from such 'intense, excessive, and sometimes fatal devotion to the ego-ideal' - 'To the narcissist, the only reality is the ego-ideal' - is only possible when one 'gives up his corrupt ego-ideal and affirms the innocence of humility'.<ref>Harold Bloom, ''Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov'' (2004) p. 120-1 and p. 133</ref>
  +
  +
==Ideal ego==
  +
  +
The ideal ego is a concept that has been particularly exploited in French psychoanalysis. Whereas Freud 'seemed to use the terms indiscriminately...ideal ego or ego ideal',<ref>Richards, p. 347</ref> in the thirties '[[Hermann Nunberg]], following Freud, had introduced a split into this concept, making the ''Ideal-Ich'' genetically prior to the ''surmoi'' (superego).<ref>Elisabeth Roudinesco, ''Jacques Lacan'' (Oxford 1997) p. 284</ref> Thereafter [[Daniel Lagache]] developed the distinction, asserting with particular reference to adolescence that 'the adolescent identifies him- or herself anew with the ideal ego and strives by this means to separate from the superego and the ego ideal'.<ref>Quoted in [http://www.enotes.com/psychoanalysis-encyclopedia/ego-ideal-ideal-ego Mijolla-Mellor]</ref>
  +
  +
[[Jacques Lacan|Lacan]] for his part explored the concept in terms of the subject's 'narcissistic identification...his ideal ego, that point at which he desires to gratify himself in himself'.<ref>Jacques Lacan, ''The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis'' (London 1994) p. 257</ref> For Lacan, 'the subject has to regulate the completion of what comes as...ideal ego - which is not the ego ideal - that is to say, to constitute himself in his [[The Imaginary (psychoanalysis)|imaginary]] reality'.<ref>Lacan, p. 144</ref>
  +
  +
'[[Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel]] (1985) identified various possible outcomes for the ego ideal, perverse as well as creative'.<ref>[http://www.enotes.com/psychoanalysis-encyclopedia/ego-ideal Mijolla-Mellor]</ref>
  +
  +
== See also ==
  +
* [[Idealization and devaluation]]
  +
* [[Narcissism]]
  +
* [[Narcissistic elation]]
  +
* [[Norm (sociology)|Norm]]
  +
* [[Role model]]
  +
  +
== References ==
  +
{{reflist|colwidth=40em}}
  +
  +
==Further reading==
  +
* M. L. Nelson ed., ''The Narcissistic Condition'' (New York 1977)
  +
  +
{{Narcissism}}
  +
  +
{{DEFAULTSORT:Ego Ideal}}
  +
[[Category:Ego psychology]]
  +
[[Category:Freudian psychology]]
  +
[[Category:Personality]]
  +
[[Category:Narcissism]]
   
{{psych-stub}}
 
 
{{enWP|Ego ideal}}
 
{{enWP|Ego ideal}}

Latest revision as of 23:37, May 22, 2013

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Clinical: Approaches · Group therapy · Techniques · Types of problem · Areas of specialism · Taxonomies · Therapeutic issues · Modes of delivery · Model translation project · Personal experiences ·


The ego ideal is the inner image of oneself as one wants to become.[1] Alternatively, 'The Freudian notion of a perfect or ideal self housed in the superego',[2] consisting of 'the individual's conscious and unconscious images of what he would like to be, patterned after certain people whom...he regards as ideal'.[3]

In the French strand of Freudian psychology, the ego ideal (or ideal ego) has been defined as "an image of the perfect self towards which the ego should aspire."[4]

Freud, ego ideal, and superegoEdit

In Freud's "On Narcissism: an Introduction" [1914], among other innovations - 'most important of all perhaps - it introduces the concepts of the "ego ideal" and of the self-observing agency related to it, which were the basis of what was ultimately to be described as the "super-ego" in The Ego and the Id (1923b)'.[5] Freud considered that the ego ideal was the heir to the narcissism of childhood: the 'ideal ego is now the target of the self-love which was enjoyed in childhood by the actual ego...is the substitute for the lost narcissism of his childhood'.[6]

The decade that followed would see the concept playing an ever more important and fruitful part in his thinking. In "Mourning and Melancholia"[1917], Freud stressed how 'one part of the ego sets itself over against the other, judges it critically, and, as it were, takes it as its object'.[7] A few years later, in "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego"[1921], he examined further how 'some such agency develops in our ego which may cut itself off from the rest of the ego and come into conflict with it. We have called it the "ego ideal"...heir to the original narcissism in which the childish ego enjoyed self-sufficiency'.[8] Freud reiterated how 'in many forms of love-choice...the object serves as a substitute for some unattained ego ideal of our own', and further suggested that in group formation 'the group ideal...governs the ego in the place of the ego ideal'.[9]

With "The Ego and the Id"[1923], however, Freud's nomenclature began to change. He still emphasised the importance of 'the existence of a grade in the ego, a differentiation in the ego, which may be called the "ego ideal" or "super-ego"',[10] but it was the latter term which now came to the forefront of his thinking. 'Indeed, after The Ego and the Id and the two or three shorter works immediately following it, the "ego ideal" disappears almost completely as a technical term'[11] for Freud. When it briefly reappears in the "New Introductory Lectures"[1933], it was as part of 'this super-ego...the vehicle of the ego ideal by which the ego measures itself...precipitate of the old picture of the parents, the expression of admiration for the perfection which the child then attributed to them'.[12]

Stekel's ego-idealEdit

Ernest Jones records that 'I once asked Freud if he regarded an "ego-ideal" as a universal attribute, and he replied with a puzzled expression: "Do you think Stekel has an ego-ideal?"'.[13]

Further developmentsEdit

Freud's followers would continue to exploit the potential tension between the concepts of superego and ego ideal. 'Hermann Nunberg defined the ideal ego as the combination of the ego and the id. This agency is the outcome of omnipotent narcissism and is manifested as pathology'.[14] Otto Fenichel, building on Sandor Rado's 'differentiation of the "good" (i.e., protecting) and the "bad" (i.e., punishing) aspects of the superego'[15] explored attempts to 'distinguish ego ideals, the patterns of what one would like to be, from the superego, which is characterized as a threatening, prohibiting, and punishing power':[16] while acknowledging the linkages between the two agencies, he suggested for example that 'in humor the overcathected superego is the friendly and protective ego-ideal; in depression, it is the negative, hostile, punishing conscience'.[17]

In narcissismEdit

Kleinians like Herbert Rosenfeld 're-invoked Freud's earlier emphasis on the importance of the ego ideal in narcissism, and conceived of a characteristic internal object - a chimerical montage or monster, one might say - that was constructed of the ego, the ego ideal, and the "mad omnipotent self"'.[18] In their wake, Otto Kernberg highlighted the destructive qualities of the 'infantile, grandiose ego ideal' - of 'identification with an overidealized self- and object-representation, with the primitive form of ego-ideal'.[19]

Harold Bloom has since explored in a literary context how 'in the narcissist, the ego-ideal becomes inflated and destructive, because it is filled with images of "perfection and omnipotence"'.[20] Escape from such 'intense, excessive, and sometimes fatal devotion to the ego-ideal' - 'To the narcissist, the only reality is the ego-ideal' - is only possible when one 'gives up his corrupt ego-ideal and affirms the innocence of humility'.[21]

Ideal egoEdit

The ideal ego is a concept that has been particularly exploited in French psychoanalysis. Whereas Freud 'seemed to use the terms indiscriminately...ideal ego or ego ideal',[22] in the thirties 'Hermann Nunberg, following Freud, had introduced a split into this concept, making the Ideal-Ich genetically prior to the surmoi (superego).[23] Thereafter Daniel Lagache developed the distinction, asserting with particular reference to adolescence that 'the adolescent identifies him- or herself anew with the ideal ego and strives by this means to separate from the superego and the ego ideal'.[24]

Lacan for his part explored the concept in terms of the subject's 'narcissistic identification...his ideal ego, that point at which he desires to gratify himself in himself'.[25] For Lacan, 'the subject has to regulate the completion of what comes as...ideal ego - which is not the ego ideal - that is to say, to constitute himself in his imaginary reality'.[26]

'Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel (1985) identified various possible outcomes for the ego ideal, perverse as well as creative'.[27]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Salman Akhtar, Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (2009) p. 89
  2. Howard Rosenthal, Human Services Dictionary (2003) p. 102
  3. Eric Berne, A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (Penguin 1976) p. 96
  4. Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, The Ego Ideal: A Psychoanalytic Essay on the Malady of the Ideal, 1st American ed., trans. Paul Barrows, introduction by Christopher Lasch (1984; New York: W.W. Norton, 1985), originally published as Idéal du moi ([Paris]: Tchou, 1975). ISBN 0-393-01971-3.
  5. Angela Richards, "Editor's Note", in Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology (PFL 11) p. 62
  6. Freud, On Metapsychology p. 88
  7. Freud, On Metapsychology p. 256
  8. Sigmund Freud, Civilization, Society and Religion (PFL 12) p. 139
  9. Freud, Civilization p. 143 and p. 160
  10. Freud, On Metapsychology p. 367
  11. Richards, p. 348
  12. Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis(PFL 2) p. 96
  13. Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud (Penguin 1964) p. 403
  14. Sophie de Mijolla-Mellor "Ego Ideal/Ideal Ego"
  15. Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 412
  16. Fenichel, p. 106
  17. Fenichel, p. 399
  18. James S. Grotstein, "Foreword", Neville Symington, Narcissism: A New Theory (London 1993) p. xiii-xiv
  19. Otto Kernberg, Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism (London 1990) p. 239 and p. 102
  20. Harold Bloom, Jay Gatsby (2004) p. 92
  21. Harold Bloom, Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov (2004) p. 120-1 and p. 133
  22. Richards, p. 347
  23. Elisabeth Roudinesco, Jacques Lacan (Oxford 1997) p. 284
  24. Quoted in Mijolla-Mellor
  25. Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (London 1994) p. 257
  26. Lacan, p. 144
  27. Mijolla-Mellor

Further readingEdit

  • M. L. Nelson ed., The Narcissistic Condition (New York 1977)


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki