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Psychology Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Identification

According to Freud, as children develop, there comes a time in which the child must adopt the characteristics of one of the parents. During this process of identification, the child adopts the characteristics of the same-sex parent and begins to associate themselves with and copy the behavior of significant others. In addition, Freud stated that this process also involves the development of the child's superego (our moral guide in life - the moral component of personality) which is done by incorporating characteristics of the parents superegos into the child's own. So, a young male child will begin to take on characteristics of the father (act more like his father than his mother in the sense of being a male) and will develop a superego that has similarities to the moral values and guidelines by which the parents live their lives (e.g., if the parents are honest people, the child may come to realize that honesty is important and that lying is wrong).

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