Ego and its Different Meanings

The term ego is very popular in the field of psychology. It depicts different meanings, and they are used in different contexts, which can be confusing for some. This is because the term presents different constructs and processes, and the concepts use the term ego with them, like egotism, ego-defense, superego, and many others.


Let us dive into the term ego.


Ego is a Latin word that means “I.” Sigmund Freud used the term ego in his psychoanalytic theory, along with the id and superego. In context, the ego is still the “I” that consciously does the decision-making part. Henceforth, the ego refers to the self. Most terms that include the word “ego” describe processes and reactions that involve the self.


For instance, egoism means acting upon own self-interest. A person who does this is considered egoistic. Egocentrism is perceiving the world from a personal vantage point. This occurs when we consider our perspective and choose to process information based solely on our personal frame of reference.


Another ego word is egotism. Egotism is being biased with the way a person perceives and evaluates oneself rather than being objective. An egoistical person sees themself to be always right.


Egoic is another term that is broader than the other terms. This means on the ego. Actions, thoughts, emotions, and motives result from the “I”’s reactions to things. The egoic tends to be self-absorbed, and they think everything is about them.


Hypo-egoic is a term used to describe people who do things that do not involve much ego. When the person is just going with the flow or is engrossed in a task, the “I” is ebbed or non-dominant. The responses are automatic, meaning no conscious thought about oneself, not too concerned if the implications will affect them or not.


Egotistical people may be egoic, but it does not follow that being egoic has anything to do with being egotistical. For instance, a person who is too self-critical can also be considered egoic. Being hard on oneself and having low self-esteem is an egoic thing.


These ego terms may be confusing, but they are interesting to study. They make us see how we think and act and understand how we operate.

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