id – what drives us to gratify our needs, these our are innate instinctual drives for satisfaction in things like food, safety and sex this uses the “pleasure principle” – this is the need to immediately satisfy this innate instincts but we can’t be immediately gratified as babies so we learn “learned helplessness” – have to rely heavily on people around us and the environment (unconscious)
ego – “conscious-self” – day to day awareness, how we perceive the world, what we experience in everyday life, what controls our innate desires so that we satisfy our needs when its practical, reasonable and socially acceptable – basically the balance between the id and the superego. ego reality principle operates the ego, this is how you parents teach you to reasonably satisfy these needs, when it is done appropriately it leads to well adjusted adults.
superego – provides the moral standards by which ego operates (unconscious), how we wish we could behave and how our societal and emotional expectation reign in these instinctual desires.
These 3 elements of the mind can be understood by the Jockey analogy: ego is the jockey, id is the horse and superego is the track- A good jockey can account for a bad track and a wild horse, essentially meaning that the Id finds balance and compromise between the superego and the ego.
Source: PSYC 260 Textbook