the motivating force or mechanism by which the child, who has previously sought immediate gratification of all wishes, realizes that gratification must sometimes be deferred or forgone.
Origin of reality principle
First recorded in 1920–25
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psychoanal control of behaviour by the ego to meet the conditions imposed by the external world
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
In psychoanalysis, awareness of and adjustment to environmental demands in a manner that moderates the pleasure principle and assures ultimate satisfaction of instinctual needs.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.