Abstract Adolf Hitler is a notable figure in world history. He has had an intriguing life, ever since his childhood years. One can’t help but wonder how the young Hitler was molded by the environment he grew up from, as well as his parents’ upbringing.
The military and political leader of Germany spearheaded the dawn of the Second World War, and was the linchpin for the ‘Holocaust’ which caused the demise of more than six million Jews—considered the largest genocide in the history of mankind (Stokes,P., 2008).When Adolf’s father died, his mother single-handedly raised him and his sister. Although Adolf Hitler had mediocre standings in school, his penchant for politics and foreign affairs had been the catalyst which made a difference in his life. He emancipated from formal schooling when he was 16 and strived to make a living as a fledgling artist in Vienna. His days as a vagabond in Munich sparked something inside Hitler, as he vowed that he will not be complacent in doing menial jobs (Stokes,P., 2008).Eventually, he joined the German militia in 1914 and was part of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment.
Hitler achieved accolades during his stint in the military, being promoted to corporal and receiving Iron Cross Second Class and First Class. Hitler witnessed a hostile takeover by local communists in Munich upon being ousted by the army which lead to his own perception of politics (Stokes,P., 2008).During his stay with the army, Hitler honed and enhanced his oratory skills. This enabled him to keenly understand the speeches in various meetings of political groups. He showcased his notable oratory prowess at The German Workers’ Party meetings. Anion Drexler, the founder of the Party, was impressed and invited Hitler in their organization. The anti-Semitic, anti-Capitalist, and anti-Marxist ideology of the German Workers Party inspired Hitler to bring about the proposition of a government which was non-Jewish and was inclined to the mutual coherences of all sectors of society.
Hitler’s political ideology would eventually lead to World War II. In April of 1945, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin (Stokes,P., 2008).
Cognitive DevelopmentHitler’s cognitive development is a fascinating subject. To begin with, Hitler’s childhood was an unfavorable one. At early age, Hitler saw and realized the very essence of violence. He was constantly punished by his father and was whipped as a boy without any remorse. This happened during Adolf Hitler’s preoperational stage where children begin associating various mental affairs in order to attain goals. A child is fixated with the notion that there is only one way to solve a problem. In Hitler’s case, every shortcoming that was done is only punishable and redeemable through the means of a violent sanction. Obviously, it is irrational to solve a problem by thinking and applying only one possible solution to it.
This is what cognitive psychologists call as the intuitive stage where it is shown that there are basic flaws in the transition between resolving problems through intuitiveness and rational reasoning that will be developed by the child in the future. The constant beating he received from his father at an early age lead to Hitler’s sense of individuality (Hurlock,E., 1980).Emotional DevelopmentAdolf Hitler emotional development was imminent during his adolescent years. Hitler manifested a strong sense of will from each endeavor he engaged in. It was a period of heightened emotional tension resulting from the physical and glandular ramifications that take place in every adolescent. However, not all adolescents like Hitler, go through a period of exaggerated storm and stress. It is true that most adolescents during Hitler’s time experienced emotional instability because of political upheavals.
Hitler easily adjusted to this social pattern along with its expectations by having a penchant for political ideologies and foreign affairs. Along with his passion for oratorical expositions, Hitler expressed his most innate sentiments in each public consortium he attended. He did this in order to achieve the goal of adult patterns of socialization (Hurlock,E., 1980).
Moral DevelopmentAlthough he was not aware of it, Hitler had already instilled his own moral code at an early age. He was a rebel with a cause. He does not longer accept in a skeptic way the prevailing ‘moral code’ which was handed to him by his elders or teachers. Hitler wanted to build his own moral code from the basis of his own concept of right and wrong, in which he changed and modified to meet his more mature level of development supplemented with laws and rules learned from parents and teachers. Arguably, Hitler’s moral code has no hints of religious influences (Hurlock,E., 1980).Physical DevelopmentHitler’s physical development was normal.
Growth during early childhood proceeded at a slow rate compared with the rapid rate of growth in babyhood. Early childhood is a time of relatively even growth, though there are more seasonal variations. The major aspects of physical development happen during early childhood. As an artist, he had honed his painting skills from his early years. Early childhood is the ideal period for a child to learn skills.
Children enjoy the idea of repetition; with this in mind there is a greater possibility to enhance newly acquired skills (Hurlock,E., 1980).Personality DevelopmentHitler’s personality development was augmented during his adolescent years.
Upon joining the German army, Hitler developed not only his personality but his interpersonal skills as well through oratory expositions. Many adolescents use group standards as the basis of an ideal personality. But in Hitler’s case, he developed his own sense of individuality and personality. Various traits are admired as adolescence progresses. This was manifested by Hitler during his adolescent years (Hurlock,E., 1980).Humanistic Theory of Personality as applied to Adolf HitlerHitler thrived in a society that was experiencing a massive political upheaval at that time.
This political upheaval was to omit the flaws of the government and the society itself Psychologist Erich Fromm tagged the “perfect” society as having ‘apt sense humanistic communitarian socialism’ (Fromm, 1964). It is a society wherein every individual would have an equal opportunity to become fully human. Here, there would be no feelings of isolation and people would find a new home that is situated to the ‘human situation.’ Such a society would realize Marx’s goal of transforming a person’s alienation under a system of private property into an opportunity of self-realization as a social, productively active human being bounded by the notion of socialism.
Hitler adopted this sense of socialism in order to bring his new world order into realization. With this in mind, Adolf Hitler had achieved growth in terms of self-actualization. Hitler’s numerous achievements during his rise as the infamous German despot was proof that Hitler was always seeking progress and always thought that there was no room for being complacent.During his rise as a powerful dictator, Hitler discovered a myriad of dimensions within his personality.
This enabled Hitler to fully understand himself through self-actualization, and eventually having his own sense of socialism. Hitler’s self-actualization has brought him his purpose and meaning in his life. People around him which included his peers from the German Workers Party organization had augmented Hitler’s personality by sharing his notions and sentiments regarding the political upheaval he felt during that time.
;;Behavioristic Theory of Personality as applied to Adolf HitlerWhat lead Hitler to initiate the genocide of six million Jews during his time may be explained through B.F.Skinner’s Behavioristic Theory of Personality. Hitler’s environment had been a crucial factor in his life since he was a child. His environment acted as a stimulus in each act of violence he purported. Hitler has done notorious and inhumane things because such behavior demands attention.
This attention Hitler needed was for the world to perceive his new world order as the apt form of government that every society should use. Countries responded to the World War II which served as reinforcement to the Holocaust. The United States response to the call of World War II was most gratifying for Hitler because he was noticed and attention was granted.Hitler advocated for the “Nazification” of the world to bring his new world order. Hitler was obviously self-cantered and mirrored this through his sense of government and politics. Various youth associations were overthrown and eventually consolidated as a single organization known as the Hitler Youth organization. His sheer animosity for the Jewish sector became saturated when he ordered all Jews ostracized for the society then lead to the massive genocide known was the Holocaust.
Hitler was adamant to form one centralized government for the world. This was first seen in Germany then attempted to unite the world through his massive and irrational killings of the Jewish population. The genocides he initiated brought forth the attention he wanted from neighboring European nations and the United States. Whenever these countries reacted, it was music to Hitler’s ears because he wanted attention. Attention that always reinforced every malicious act he committed against humanity.
ReferencesHall,C., Lindzey,G. 1978. Personality. Theories of Personality.Third Edition.
New York.Hurlock,E. 1980.
Developmental Stages in early childhood and adolescence. Developmental Psychology: A Lifespan Approach. Fifth Edition. New York.Stokes,P. 2008. Biography of Adolf Hitler. World War II Pages.
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