Evolutionary Heritage and its Impression on Adolph Hitler

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Adolph Hitler is known as a man of great historical value. His doings during the Second World War have forever scarred the history of a nation and a planet. His contempt for the Jewish people and others who opposed him is notorious throughout the world for its brutal and inhumane application. Somewhere along the way this man grew to hate and abhor those around him. According to the evolutionary theory of personality, Hitler may not have had much choice in his character, which resulted in the man known as the administrator of pure evil. One of the first things that contributes to Adolph Hitler's rather unique personality is his attachment to his mother and father. Attachment refers to seeking and sustaining proximity to another individual, and has functioned throughout human evolution to protect the infant from predators and to assure inclusive fitness. Infants start to build attachments within the first year of their life, forming an infant-caregiver bond. A secure versus insecure attachment can have a large effect on the individual's development (McAdams, 2002). Hitler was raised by an overly doting mother, and a cold, dismissing father. His father was described as an "authoritarian, overbearing, domineering husband and a stern, distant, masterful, and often irritable father." He once feared he had beaten his son to death (McVay). His mother lost three children before the birth of Adolph, and one after him. Her concern for the well-being of her only two surviving children is well noted, and often described as smothering (Kershaw, 1998). Adolph's inconsistencies between his caregivers helped him develop what Ainsworth would call avoidant and resistant behaviors (McAdams, 2002). The insecure attachment occurred for a yo... ... middle of paper ... ...s an unstable upbringing, a young man brought a nation to war with the world. His internal desire to reproduce and succeed at all costs, eventually cost him his life, and marred him as one of the more evil men of history. Though he could not help the insecure attachments he had with his parents, or the evolutionarily adapted drive for dominance, Adolph Hitler is defined by such things. References Hitler, Adolph (1943), Manheim, Ralph (1998). Mein Kampf. (Reissue edition) London: Houghton Mifflin Co. Kershaw, Ian. (1998) Hitler: 1989-1936 Hubris. New York: W.W. Norton and Company McAdams, Dan P. (2002) The Person: An Integrated Introduction to Personality Psychology (3rd edition). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. McVay, Ken. The Nizkor Project. Retrieved October 22, 2003 from the World Wide Web: http://nizkor.org/

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