Ego Defense Mechanisms

Developed by Sigmund Freud

Super Ego

The Super Ego is what causes you to want to behave in a socially acceptable way. This also causes your concept of morality


The ego attempts to carry out the Id's needs in a realistic way that will benefit you long term. Originally, Freud described Ego as one's sense of self.


The Id is in control of your basic instincts. The Id controls the things we need for survival and seeks instant gratification

Ego Defense Mechanisms

When the Id is having trouble making both the Ego and the Super Ego happy, the ego will use one or more defense as a way to 'trick' your brain.


Arguing against a negative stimuli by saying that it doesn't exist

Example: Refusing to believe that someone close to you has died, repeatedly trying to get that person to respond to you.


Taking out negative impulses on something or someone other than the source of these impulses.

Example: Being upset with your boss and taking out that stress by yelling at your boss.


Focusing on details or intellectual aspects of an event instead of dealing with the emotions of it

Example: Focusing on small details, such as colors that you see/ how many of a certain object that there are, instead of your grief at a funeral.


Consciously stifling thoughts of an event due to how it makes you feel.

Example: Not allowing your brain to think about a past negative experience, and instead trying to push those events into your subconscious.


Unconsciously forgetting an event due to the trauma and anxiety that it caused you.

Example: Not remembering abuse that you suffered in childhood, because your brain has blocked it out.


  • "Chapter 3: Section 6: Freud’s Ego Defense Mechanisms." AllPsych. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014
  • "Defense Mechanisms | Simply Psychology." Defense Mechanisms | Simply Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.
  • "Defence Mechanisms." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.