Book Definition: The primitive, unconscious portion of the personality that houses the most basic drives and stores repressed memories.

In Your Own Words


  • The part of your unconscious that is merely focused on self-satisfaction and pleasure.
  • Your most basic, primitive desires, disregarding morality and conscience.
  • The little devil on your shoulder.
  • What Homer Simpson primarily listens to when making a (bad) decision.

Examples/Functions


  • In a situation of deciding whether or not to cheat on a test, the little devil on your shoulder, being the id, would say something like "C'mon, there's no way you'll get caught and you'll be sure to get a good grade! Do it!"
  • The part of the mental process that would want to steal, cheat, or break any rule despite the consequence.
  • Includes eros: associated with erotic sexual desires, but eros is also a creative desire; the desire to create, i.e. motivation behind art, music, etc. Also includes thanatos, the opposite of eros, or the destructive desire; the desire to kill, to destroy, for violence. (These are the main two drives of the id).
  • In the marshmallow experiment when the child eats the marshmallow, their id is looking for instant gratification
  • If you are on a diet, your ID will tell you to choose an unhealthy snack over fruit/veggies.

external image Iceberg.jpg

Additional Resources

  1. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/understanding-the-id-ego-and-superego-in-psycholog.html
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego