What is a Napoleon Complex in Psychology

Napoleon complex

The term Napoleon Complex - too Short Man Syndrome called - was from Alfred Adler characterized and primarily describes the behavior of men to compensate for a smaller body size with externally visible successes and status symbols. Ultimately, however, the Napoleon complex is more likely to describe a popular science phenomenon, which attributes smaller men to compensating for their physical deficiency through elbow behavior, selfishness and the will to power by becoming more aggressive, louder and more power-hungry. Men of shorter stature are therefore also ascribed more likely to psychological means to take hold to assert and distinguish oneself. It is allegedly also observed that men always behave particularly aggressively when they feel inferior, insecure or unmanly, i.e. do not correspond to the image of typical men is expected.

More or less representative studies have also shown that men who are smaller than 1.78 are often disadvantaged in everyday life, because taller men earn more money, are preferred when filling vacancies, and ultimately won 80 percent of the US presidential elections in 20th century the bigger candidate. In addition, childless men are on average three inches shorter than fathers, and women prefer men who are on average two inches taller than themselves. Last but not least, American country pastors are shorter than bishops and school principals are shorter than university presidents. These studies also show a number of compensation strategies, as they are ascribed to the Napoleon complex, for example that the shorter men in teams are more prone to bullying and idiosyncratic strategies. This is usually justified with genetic patterns of evolution, because taller men mean more strength and thus power, more protection for the group and also more success in the hunt. Some examples from the PPP news:

Napoleon, 1.67: The eponymous prime example of a small man with a large ego is Napoleon Bonaparte, but how tall the French general really was is controversial, because the latest studies assume 1.67 meters, which was the average at the time would have.
Silvio Berlusconi, 1.64: When it comes to group photos at political receptions, Silvio Berlusconi (71) prefers to sit in the second row - if possible on a pedestal or step in order to appear taller.
Nicolas Sarkozy, 1.65: Even his compatriot Nicolas Sarkozy (53) is not the tallest, at least in terms of body measurements. The French President is considered vain, ambitious and power-conscious and is 1.65 meters tall.
Dimitrij Medvedev, 1.62: There is not exactly a great man at the top of Russia either. President Dimitrij Medvedev (42) measures 1.62 meters and is therefore mocked as a “children's surprise in the Kremlin”.
Vladimir Putin, 1.70: Medvedev makes Vladimir Putin (55) appear taller than he actually is, because at 1.70 meters, he is not one of the tallest in the world.
Lenin, 1.64; Stalin, 1.65: Vladimir Lenin measured 1.64 meters, Josef Stalin was one centimeter further to 1.65 meters.
Kim Jong II, unofficially 1.60: Probably the smallest statesman, the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il (66), has the greatest power in his country. Not much is known about the 1.60 meter tall man with the platform shoes and hair dryer.
“It is very likely that little men will compensate for their supposed shortcomings with ambition and striving for success,” says Werner Stangl, professor at the Institute for Education and Psychology at the University of Linz. "In order not to be overlooked and to be better accepted, many believe that they have to achieve 'great things'."
Supposedly, too dogs show the Napoleon complex by compensating for their small body size with their behavior, which is often expressed in shrill yapping and macho behavior. However, experts attribute this behavior to the dog owner, who tends to forgive bad behavior in a small dog, so that miniature dogs are carried a lot and are often less well trained. These small dogs often assert themselves against the owner and, over time, develop a disproportionate level of self-confidence.

source: http://paedpsych.jku.at/PPP-News/?p=26 (08-12-12)


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