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n. in psychoanalytic theory, the moral component of the personality that represents parental and societal standards and determines personal standards of right and wrong, or conscience, as well as aims and aspirations (see ego-ideal). In the classic Freudian tripartite structure of the psyche, the ego, which controls personal impulses and directs actions, operates by the rules and principles of the superego, which stem from parental demands and prohibitions. The formation of the superego occurs on an unconscious level, beginning in the first 5 years of life and continuing throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood, largely through identification with the parents and later with admired models of behavior. See also primitive superego.

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June 25th 2024