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The psychological faculty by which we aware of and respond to the moral character of our own actions. It is most commonly thought of as the source of pains we suffer as a result of doing what we believe is wrong — the pains of guilt, or “pangs of conscience.”

In short, the conscience is the part of our mental processing that holds our beliefs and information around what our society deems as right and wrong, and regulates our desire to act in a moral manner or feel guilty if we don’t.

In Freudian theory, the conscience is part of the superego that contains information about what is viewed as bad or negative by your parents and by society—all the values you learned and absorbed during your upbringing. The conscience emerges over time as you absorb information about what is considered right and wrong by your caregivers, your peers, and the culture in which you live.

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