the conscious mental activity and logical thinking controlled by the ego and influenced by environmental demands.
Compare primary process.
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In psychoanalysis, the mental process directly related to the functions of the ego and characteristic of conscious and preconscious mental activities, marked by logical thinking and by the tendency to delay gratification by regulation of actions based on instinctual demands.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.