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Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, posited that the psyche, or mind, consists of three structures: the id, superego, and ego. We are unaware of these structures, but they determine much of our behavior.

The id is thought to be the primitive part of the psyche. It is the part of us that we are born with and it is driven by animal instincts. Freud argued that the id functions according to the pleasure principle in that it seeks to maximize pleasure and minimize discomfort; it is illogical in its drive for what feels good and is fun.

The superego is that part of the psyche that is driven by the desire to be moral and good. It is thought to form in early childhood when we become aware of cultural norms and societal standards. The superego is our sense of conscience and functions according to the morality principle. It is just as illogical as the id because it seeks what is moral and right about all else.

The third part of the psyche is the ego. It is our sense of self and develops during toddlerhood as we begin to seek autonomy from our parents. The ego is a sort of executive control center because it can control the id and superego. Its job is to seek a balance between the conflicting desires of the id and superego. It seeks to gratify the id's desires for pleasure in accord with the superego's desire for what is moral. Although we are not aware of the id, ego, and superego, Freud believed that the conflicts and interactions among the three structures determine much of our behavior.