A psychohistorical examination of Adolf Hitler / by Norman William Kepler.
The Problem. The purpose of this study was to investigate the personality and behavior of Adolf Hitler in order to evaluate whether or not he can be considered to have been emotionally disturbed. Secondarily, it was the purpose of this study to offer a brief view of Hitler's behavior and policies from the perspective of Social Learning Theory. Method. An evaluative, historical method of research with a recognized criterion measure of mental illness was used to accomplish the major objective of this study. For a psychological criterion, the data were compared to the diagnostic standards and procedures of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--DSM-III--and the supplementary volume, Disorders of Personality: DSM-III: Axis II. The historical literature dealing with events was compared by referring to the most recent historical documents concerned with Hitler's actions and the circumstances in which the behavior occurred. Results. A thorough review of the available data pertaining to Hitler's personal behavior and the sociocultural environment in which he functioned leads to the conclusion that he did not, at any time, suffer from a personality disorder. However, it was determined that Hitler probably did suffer from the deleterious effects of amphetamine toxicity, which became clearly defined in the autumn of 1942. It was also concluded that Hitler's excessive Pan-Germanism and anti-Semitism was probably the result of early social conditioning that was continually reinforced throughout his lifetime by various influential modeling sources.
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