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Reality principle

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The reality principle is the major rule governing the activity of the ego, controlling behaviour to meet the demands of external reality, combating the demands of the pleasure principle for immediate gratification. In Freud's psychoanalytic theory the reality principle is part of the secondary process involving the conversion of free libidinous energy into bound energy.


His fullest account appears in "Instincts and their Vicissitudes" (1915).



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