The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Science and technology
  • Psychology


Show Summary Details



Quick Reference

1 In psychoanalysis, an idealized image of another person, such as a parent, or of an instinctual object, acquired in infancy and maintained in the unconscious (2) in later life. The concept was introduced in 1911 by Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), who believed that some imagos are derived from archetypes (2) rather than from personal experiences, and it became a key concept of his analytical psychology. In the writings of the British-based Austrian psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960), it is a fantastically distorted picture of the real object on which it is based. See also anima, animus (3), idealization.

2 A mature adult insect produced by metamorphosis. [From Latin imago a likeness, from imitari to copy]

Reference entries