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Views of Motivation: Adolf Hitler

     The psychoanalytic view of motivation suggests that human behavior is determined by certain unconscious aggressive and sexual drives as well as by intrapsychic conflicts that occur in everyday life (McAdams, 2006). Adolf Hitler was an ambitious leader who knew what he wanted and how to achieve that which he needed. Hitler's aggressive behavior began early when he would make random speeches against Jews whom he hated. He saw them as enemies of Germany and he was not afraid to publicly accuse them of all sorts of evil.

His aggressive tendencies made him hate everyone who was not a Caucasian German. He also exhibited unusual sexual drives, he preferred beautiful and frivolous women who did not discuss politics. It is like he feared women who could challenge him and his ideas. His unconscious aggressive tendencies and unusual sexual drives only strengthened the hatred he had for non-Aryan Germans, or Aliens as he liked to call them. He used propaganda against Jews and anyone else he considered an enemy and the Germans were eager to listen to him. They had had poor leadership and Hitler knew how to present himself as their much needed savior. With his countrymen's support, Hitler's aggression only increased and it was not long before he almost single handedly caused the World War II (Nicholls, 2000).

The Humanistic view of human motivation focuses on self-actualizing tendencies and conscious experience. For this case, the most appropriate theory would be Carl Rogers' Personality and Psychotherapy theory that speculates the main motivational force comes from the need to fulfill or actualize the self (McAdams, 2006). When Hitler was growing up, he faced a lot of pressure from his father who expected him to be successful in life and not to be like his step brother whom Hitler's father considered a failure.

As a result, Hitler grew up knowing that he had to prove himself especially to other people. Perhaps when he was growing up, he faced so much pressure that reaching a certain level in life became an obsession of his. He developed a sense of superiority through which he believed that he could offer Germany the kind of leadership they were craving. To fulfill his need to be the absolute leader of Germany, he spread hate messages and propaganda that was meant to get rid of those he considered would be a hindrance to his ultimate goal. He knew how to use his popularity among Germans to get what he wanted. At the end, his propaganda worked, Jews were killed in their thousands and he was able to take control of the country for a while (Nicholls, 2000).

In the diversity view of motivation, there are different models that are used to explain human behavior. For this case, the most appropriate model is the power motive used by Hitler when he was German's leader. According to this view, motivation is characterized by a mixture of aggression and leadership. People who have high power motivation are normally very active and forceful. They are effective organizational leaders who are normally ready to take large risks when they want to gain visibility (McAdams 2006).

Hitler was an aggressive leader. He was drawn to the kind of leadership where he could control or direct the behaviors of his juniors. When making decisions, individuals with high power motivation rarely stop to consider long term ramifications. Hitler's mission was to terminate Jews and other races that he deemed inferior to Caucasians. He did everything in his power to get rid of all of them, without thinking how this would affect him or his country in the long term. His decisions or opinions normally passed without being challenged, he was never ready to offer any compromises (Nicholls, 2000).

McAdams, D. (2006). The person: A new introduction to personality psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Nicholls, D. (2000). Adolf Hitler: A bibliographic companion. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc.

Copyright (c) 2012 Morgan D

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Posted on 2012-12-12, By: *

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