Summary: The conscious portion of the personality structure which serves to mediate between the demands of the primitive instinctual drives, (the id), of internalized parental and social prohibitions or the conscience, (the superego), and of reality.

Top Publications

  1. Hagger M, Wood C, Stiff C, Chatzisarantis N. Ego depletion and the strength model of self-control: a meta-analysis. Psychol Bull. 2010;136:495-525 pubmed publisher
    ..control over dominant responses and, once expended, leads to impaired self-control task performance, known as ego depletion...
  2. Christiansen P, Cole J, Field M. Ego depletion increases ad-lib alcohol consumption: investigating cognitive mediators and moderators. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2012;20:118-28 pubmed publisher
    When self-control resources are depleted ("ego depletion"), alcohol-seeking behavior becomes closely associated with automatic alcohol-related processing biases (e.g., Ostafin, Marlatt, & Greenwald, 2008)...
  3. Carhart Harris R, Friston K. The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain. 2010;133:1265-83 pubmed publisher
    ..are consistent with self-organized activity in hierarchical cortical systems and that his descriptions of the ego are consistent with the functions of the default-mode and its reciprocal exchanges with subordinate brain systems...
  4. Raballo A, Sæbye D, Parnas J. Looking at the schizophrenia spectrum through the prism of self-disorders: an empirical study. Schizophr Bull. 2011;37:344-51 pubmed publisher
  5. Burkle C, Martin D, Keegan M. Which is feared more: harm to the ego or financial peril? A survey of anesthesiologists' attitudes about medical malpractice. Minn Med. 2012;95:46-50 pubmed
    ..Forty-one percent said financial consequences were a concern, and 54% indicated that obtaining affordable liability coverage was an issue. ..
  6. Job V, Dweck C, Walton G. Ego depletion--is it all in your head? implicit theories about willpower affect self-regulation. Psychol Sci. 2010;21:1686-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Study 1 found that individual differences in lay theories about willpower moderate ego-depletion effects: People who viewed the capacity for self-control as not limited did not show diminished self-..
  7. Diener M, Hilsenroth M, Shaffer S, Sexton J. A Meta-Analysis of the relationship between the Rorschach Ego Impairment Index (EII) and psychiatric severity. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2011;18:464-85 pubmed publisher
    The present study examined the relationship between the Rorschach Ego Impairment Index (EII) and psychiatric severity...
  8. van Gent T, Goedhart A, Knoors H, Westenberg P, Treffers P. Self-concept and ego development in deaf adolescents: a comparative study. J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2012;17:333-51 pubmed publisher
    Self-concept and ego development, two intertwined aspects of self-indicating well-being and social-cognitive maturation, respectively, were examined in a representative sample of deaf adolescents of normal intelligence (N = 68), using ..
  9. Hyphantis T, Taunay T, Macedo D, Soeiro de Souza M, Bisol L, Fountoulakis K, et al. Affective temperaments and ego defense mechanisms associated with somatic symptom severity in a large sample. J Affect Disord. 2013;150:481-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Affective temperaments may represent heritable subclinical manifestations of mood disorders, and the concept of ego defense mechanisms has also provided a model for the comprehension of psychopathology...

More Information


  1. Van Hiel A, Vansteenkiste M. Ambitions fulfilled? The effects of intrinsic and extrinsic goal attainment on older adults' ego-integrity and death attitudes. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2009;68:27-51 pubmed
    The present research examined the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic goal attainment on older adults' ego-integrity, psychological well-being, and death attitudes...
  2. Schmeichel B, Vohs K. Self-affirmation and self-control: affirming core values counteracts ego depletion. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009;96:770-82 pubmed publisher
    ..lower levels) of mental construal. Self-affirmation therefore holds promise as a mental strategy that reduces the likelihood of self-control failure. ..
  3. Debey E, Verschuere B, Crombez G. Lying and executive control: an experimental investigation using ego depletion and goal neglect. Acta Psychol (Amst). 2012;140:133-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Across two experiments, the ego depletion manipulation did not reliably affect lying...
  4. Galatzer Levy I, Bonanno G. Heterogeneous patterns of stress over the four years of college: associations with anxious attachment and ego-resiliency. J Pers. 2013;81:476-86 pubmed publisher stressors in other contexts have found that people respond in heterogeneous ways and that attachment style and ego-resiliency mitigate the effects of stressors on mental health...
  5. Chen J, Yang L, Ma W, Wu X, Zhang Y, Wei D, et al. Ego-rotation and object-rotation in major depressive disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2013;209:32-9 pubmed publisher
    ..It is still not known, however, whether the ability of object-rotation is associated with the ability of ego-rotation in MDD...
  6. Klohnen E. Conceptual analysis and measurement of the construct of ego-resiliency. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996;70:1067-79 pubmed
    This investigation explored the meaning, measurement, and validity of the ego-resiliency construct (ER, J.H. Block & J Block) in 3 samples...
  7. Huey S, Weisz J. Ego control, Ego resiliency, and the Five-Factor Model as predictors of behavioral and emotional problems in clinic-referred children and adolescents. J Abnorm Psychol. 1997;106:404-15 pubmed
    The relations of Ego control (EC), Ego resiliency (ER), and the Five-Factor Model of Personality (FFM) with behavioral and emotional problems were explored among 116 clinic-referred children...
  8. Baumeister R. Ego depletion and self-regulation failure: a resource model of self-control. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2003;27:281-4 pubmed
    ..The self's resources, which are also used for decision-making and active responding, can be replenished by rest and positive emotions. ..
  9. Kircher T, Leube D. Self-consciousness, self-agency, and schizophrenia. Conscious Cogn. 2003;12:656-69 pubmed
    ..We argue, that self-consciousness is a valid construct and can be studied with the instruments of cognitive and neuroscience. ..
  10. Macrae C, Moran J, Heatherton T, Banfield J, Kelley W. Medial prefrontal activity predicts memory for self. Cereb Cortex. 2004;14:647-54 pubmed
    ..Results revealed that activity in medial prefrontal cortex predicted both subsequent memory performance and judgements of self-relevance. These findings extend current understanding of the nature and functioning of human memory. ..
  11. Dunkel C, Papini D. The role of ego-identity status in mating preferences. Adolescence. 2005;40:489-501 pubmed
    This study was designed to examine the role ego-identity plays in the mating preferences of late adolescents...
  12. Northoff G, Bermpohl F. Cortical midline structures and the self. Trends Cogn Sci. 2004;8:102-7 pubmed
    ..All of these subfunctions are related to distinct regions within the CMS. This relationship between self-referential processing and CMS might provide novel insight into the neural correlates underlying the constitution of the self. ..
  13. Northoff G, Heinzel A, de Greck M, Bermpohl F, Dobrowolny H, Panksepp J. Self-referential processing in our brain--a meta-analysis of imaging studies on the self. Neuroimage. 2006;31:440-57 pubmed
    ..We conclude that self-referential processing in CMS constitutes the core of our self and is critical for elaborating experiential feelings of self, uniting several distinct concepts evident in current neuroscience. ..
  14. Inzlicht M, McKay L, Aronson J. Stigma as ego depletion: how being the target of prejudice affects self-control. Psychol Sci. 2006;17:262-9 pubmed
    ..By experimentally activating stigma, Studies 2 and 3 provided causal evidence for stigma's ego-depleting qualities: When their stigma was activated, stigmatized participants (Black students and females) showed ..
  15. Sheline Y, Barch D, Price J, Rundle M, Vaishnavi S, Snyder A, et al. The default mode network and self-referential processes in depression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:1942-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings provide a brain network framework within which to consider the pathophysiology of depression. ..
  16. Beresford T, Alfers J, Mangum L, Clapp L, Martin B. Cancer survival probability as a function of ego defense (adaptive) mechanisms versus depressive symptoms. Psychosomatics. 2006;47:247-53 pubmed
    Psychological treatment studies, uncontrolled for ego defense (adaptive) styles, report conflicting survival results...
  17. Suchman N, McMahon T, DeCoste C, Castiglioni N, Luthar S. Ego development, psychopathology, and parenting problems in substance-abusing mothers. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2008;78:20-8 pubmed publisher
    The authors examined maternal ego development in relation to psychopathology and parenting problems in a sample of substance abusing mothers...
  18. Viglione D, Perry W, Meyer G. Refinements in the Rorschach Ego Impairment Index incorporating the human representational variable. J Pers Assess. 2003;81:149-56 pubmed
    The Ego Impairment Index (EII; Perry & Viglione, 1991) is a composite measure of psychological impairment and thought disturbance developed from the empirical and theoretical literature on the Rorschach...
  19. Ferguson S, Rayport M. Id, ego, and temporal lobe revisited. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2006;76:21-31 pubmed
  20. Juni S, Stack J. Ego function as a correlate of addiction. Am J Addict. 2005;14:83-93 pubmed
    Eighty-nine substance abusers in an urban treatment facility completed the self-report version of the Ego Function Assessment as well as the Addiction Severity Index...
  21. Rylands K, Rickwood D. Ego-integrity versus ego-despair: the effect of "accepting the past" on depression in older women. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2001;53:75-89 pubmed
    The relative strength of the later-life personality process of ego-integrity, as operationalized by "accepting the past," was tested as a predictor of depression in a multivariate model containing other well established ..
  22. Robins R, Beer J. Positive illusions about the self: short-term benefits and long-term costs. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001;80:340-52 pubmed
    ..Both studies showed that self-enhancement bias was related to narcissism, ego involvement, self-serving attributions, and positive affect...
  23. Stackert R, Bursik K. Ego development and the therapeutic goal-setting capacities of mentally ill adults. Am J Psychother. 2006;60:357-74 pubmed
    ..development as evidenced by the ability to set therapeutic goals? This study explored how individual differences in ego development (Loevinger, 1976) predict the therapeutic goal-setting capacities of adults with chronic mental illness ..
  24. Schmeichel B, Vohs K, Baumeister R. Intellectual performance and ego depletion: role of the self in logical reasoning and other information processing. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003;85:33-46 pubmed
    ..Successful performance at complex thinking may therefore rely on limited regulatory resources. ..
  25. Baumeister R, Bratslavsky E, Muraven M, Tice D. Ego depletion: is the active self a limited resource?. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998;74:1252-65 pubmed
    ..e., more prone to favor the passive-response option). These results suggest that the self's capacity for active volition is limited and that a range of seemingly different, unrelated acts share a common resource. ..
  26. Moller A, Deci E, Ryan R. Choice and ego-depletion: the moderating role of autonomy. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006;32:1024-36 pubmed
    ..model maintains that all acts of self-regulation, self-control, and choice result in a state of fatigue called ego-depletion. Self-determination theory differentiates between autonomous regulation and controlled regulation...
  27. Markstrom C, Marshall S. The psychosocial inventory of ego strengths: examination of theory and psychometric properties. J Adolesc. 2007;30:63-79 pubmed
    The psychosocial inventory of ego strengths (PIES) was devised as a measure of Erikson's eight ego strengths...
  28. Basu J, Basu S, Bhattacharyya S. Ego functions in relation to stressful life events and indices of psychopathology in paranoid schizophrenia. Psychol Rep. 2004;95:1248-52 pubmed
    This study explored the role of 12 ego functions in relation to Stressful Life Events and three indices of psychopathology, namely, Psychoticism, Anxiety, and Depression among 60 Bengali adult patients suffering from Paranoid ..
  29. Newman D, Tellegen A, Bouchard T. Individual differences in adult ego development: sources of influence in twins reared apart. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998;74:985-95 pubmed
    A behavior genetic analysis of the personality dimension of ego development, as assessed by the Washington University Sentence Completion Test, was carried out on a sample of 45 pairs of monozygotic twins and 28 pairs of same-sex ..
  30. Wallis D, Hetherington M. Stress and eating: the effects of ego-threat and cognitive demand on food intake in restrained and emotional eaters. Appetite. 2004;43:39-46 pubmed
    ..To compare differential effects of cognitive demand and ego-threatening stressors on subsequent chocolate intake, 38 females completed a neutral (control), an ego threatening ..
  31. Pellitteri J. The relationship between emotional intelligence and ego defense mechanisms. J Psychol. 2002;136:182-94 pubmed
    ..Emotional knowledge was correlated with both adaptive and maladaptive defense styles and with general intelligence, as was expected. Implications for counseling and psychoeducational interventions are suggested. ..
  32. Perry W, Minassian A, Cadenhead K, Sprock J, Braff D. The use of the Ego Impairment Index across the schizophrenia spectrum. J Pers Assess. 2003;80:50-7 pubmed
    The goal of this study was to assess perceptual and thought disturbance, as indexed by the Ego Impairment Index (EII; Perry & Viglione, 1991), a Rorschach-derived measure, across the schizophrenia spectrum...
  33. Leube D, Whitney C, Kircher T. The neural correlates of ego-disturbances (passivity phenomena) and formal thought disorder in schizophrenia. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008;258 Suppl 5:22-7 pubmed publisher
    b>Ego-disturbances (passivity phenomena) and formal thought disorder are two hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia...
  34. Parnas J, Handest P. Phenomenology of anomalous self-experience in early schizophrenia. Compr Psychiatry. 2003;44:121-34 pubmed
    ..Psychopathological emphasis on these disorders may also help to integrate the search for the neurodevelopmental mechanisms in schizophrenia with developmental-psychological research on the ontogenesis of the self. ..
  35. Alberts H, Martijn C, Greb J, Merckelbach H, De Vries N. Carrying on or giving in: the role of automatic processes in overcoming ego depletion. Br J Soc Psychol. 2007;46:383-99 pubmed
    ..exercise of self-control leads to impaired performance on subsequent self-control tasks, a phenomenon labelled ego depletion. The current research investigates the influence of automatic processes on self-control performance...
  36. Schmitz T, Johnson S. Relevance to self: A brief review and framework of neural systems underlying appraisal. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2007;31:585-96 pubmed
    ..As a whole, the purpose of this framework is to re-conceive the functionality of these systems in terms of supramodal processes that more directly reflect the influences of relevance to the self. ..
  37. Block J, Kremen A. IQ and ego-resiliency: conceptual and empirical connections and separateness. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996;70:349-61 pubmed
    The constructs of intelligence and ego-resiliency are discussed. The personality implications of "pure intelligence" and "pure ego-resilience" were identified...
  38. Baumeister R, Gailliot M, DeWall C, Oaten M. Self-regulation and personality: how interventions increase regulatory success, and how depletion moderates the effects of traits on behavior. J Pers. 2006;74:1773-801 pubmed
    ..often consumes a limited resource, akin to energy or strength, thereby creating a temporary state of ego depletion...
  39. Gramann K, Muller H, Schönebeck B, Debus G. The neural basis of ego- and allocentric reference frames in spatial navigation: evidence from spatio-temporal coupled current density reconstruction. Brain Res. 2006;1118:116-29 pubmed
  40. Buckner R, Carroll D. Self-projection and the brain. Trends Cogn Sci. 2007;11:49-57 pubmed
  41. Fischer P, Greitemeyer T, Frey D. Ego depletion and positive illusions: does the construction of positivity require regulatory resources?. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2007;33:1306-21 pubmed
    ..Two further studies shed light on the underlying psychological process: Ego-depleted (compared to nondepleted) individuals generated/retrieved less positive self-relevant attributes (Studies ..
  42. Marcia J. Ego identity and personality disorders. J Pers Disord. 2006;20:577-96 pubmed
  43. Lee C. [Effects of Logotherapy with Exercise on meaning of life, ego integrity and IADL in the elderly]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006;36:701-9 pubmed
    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 'Logotherapy with Exercise' on the meaning of life, ego integrity and IADL's in the Elderly...
  44. Boeker H, Kleiser M, Lehman D, Jaenke L, Bogerts B, Northoff G. Executive dysfunction, self, and ego pathology in schizophrenia: an exploratory study of neuropsychology and personality. Compr Psychiatry. 2006;47:7-19 pubmed
    Schizophrenic patients show a variety of symptoms, including positive and negative symptoms and ego pathology. Their exact underlying neuropsychological mechanisms as well as related changes in personality, however, remain unclear...
  45. McNeal S. A character in search of character: Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Ego State Therapy. Am J Clin Hypn. 2003;45:233-43 pubmed
    ..theories concerning the development and treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and introduces the use of Ego State Therapy for its treatment...
  46. Shao Y, Yao X, Ceci S, Wang Q. Does the self drive mental time travel?. Memory. 2010;18:855-62 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings offer new insights into the dynamic relations between the self and episodic thinking. ..
  47. Mancini A, Betti V, Panasiti M, Pavone E, Aglioti S. Suffering makes you egoist: acute pain increases acceptance rates and reduces fairness during a bilateral ultimatum game. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e26008 pubmed publisher
    ..The results suggest that bodily states play a fundamental role in higher-order interpersonal negotiations and interactions. ..
  48. Beran T, Violato E, Faremo S, Violato C, Watt D, Lake D. Ego identity development in physicians: a cross-cultural comparison using a mixed method approach. BMC Res Notes. 2012;5:249 pubmed publisher
    ..process of content analysis was conducted to categorize responses from five open-ended questions according to the Ego Identity Statuses theory of career decision-making...
  49. Martin J, Gillespie A. A neo-Meadian approach to human agency: relating the social and the psychological in the ontogenesis of perspective-coordinating persons. Integr Psychol Behav Sci. 2010;44:252-72 pubmed publisher
  50. Mészáros J. Building blocks toward contemporary trauma theory: Ferenczi 's paradigm shift. Am J Psychoanal. 2010;70:328-40 pubmed publisher
    ..In the traumatic situation, the victim and the persecutor/aggressor operate differing ego defense mechanisms...
  51. Vecchione M, Alessandri G, Barbaranelli C, Gerbino M. Stability and change of ego resiliency from late adolescence to young adulthood: a multiperspective study using the ER89-R Scale. J Pers Assess. 2010;92:212-21 pubmed publisher
    In this research, we examined the psychometric properties of the Revised Ego Resiliency 89 Scale (ER89-R; Alessandri, Vecchio, Steca, Caprara, & Caprara, 2008), a brief self-report measure of ego resiliency...
  52. Ehrlich R. Guntrip's concept of the regressed ego. J Am Acad Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry. 2009;37:605-25 pubmed publisher
    ..the most important contribution of Harry Guntrip to psychoanalysis: namely his concept of the "regressed ego." In the course of his psychoanalytic work, he found certain concepts to be problematic...
  53. Llorca P. [Subjective feeling of patient on his illness and his treatment]. Encephale. 2013;39 Suppl 2:S99-104 pubmed publisher
    ..Identification of these subjective dimensions is needed to develop more efficacious strategies. ..