Reality principle

Reality Principle

Reality principle

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In Freudian psychology, the reality principle is the psychoanalytic concept describing circumstantial reality compelling a man or a woman to defer instant gratification. The reality principle is the factual governor of the actions taken by the ego, and always opposes the pleasure principle of the Id.

In infancy and early childhood, the Id rules behavior by obeying only the pleasure principle. Maturity is learning to endure the pain of deferred gratification, when reality requires it; thus, the psychoanalitic psychologist Sigmund Freud proposes that “an ego thus educated has become ‘reasonable’; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also, at bottom, seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished”.Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures 16.357.

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