Essay Sample on Adler's Social Interest Theory: Exploring the Relationship with Others

Paper Type:  Course work
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1054 Words
Date:  2023-02-12


Adler, also known as the father of individual psychology, consistently used the term social interest in his different writings. The concept, which later formed the so-called social interest theory tends to explain the relationship that a person may be having with the people around them, within the same locale or environment (Adler, 1927). The term was first introduced in the early 1990s, but he later used it regularly in other pieces of writings.

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In his personality theory, he explains that in most cases, social interest may be developed at the childhood ages. The theory argues that people who finally become inferior in societies in various public cultures must have had a social benefit in that particular field. In some cases, the act of becoming inferiority may lead to compensation, especially when the person becomes so outstanding to outweigh the rest finally. This particular study aims to research on one individual, who used the concept of social interest and his inferiority characteristics to gain competition, in one of the recognized fields of public cultures, such as politics, television or movies.

Personality Figure

In this study, I would choose, Professor P.L.O Lumumba to be the public figure. Lumumba is a politician, lawyer and a human rights strategist, whose origin country is Kenya, but due to his exemplary language and speech skills, he has had several public addresses. He has also lectured in the United States International University, and Widener University (USA) Nairobi Summer Programs. In 2017, he won an award as one of the most influential Africans in the continent of Africa. He also won the African Luminary Awards, in the USA. In other words, Lumumba has consistently stood out as one of the most infectors, and African leaders, who have excellent speeches and language skills.

Social Interest as a Factor in the Process of His Personality Development

Besides, he can be described as a man with social interest, as he has continuously fought corruption in Africa, by publicly confronting the corrupt leaders without fear. This has not only been recognized locally in his country but also worldwide. In the year 2018, he was named by the house of "The Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the USA," for having played a critical role in fighting corruption together with the bad governance in the continent of Africa (Katsakioris, 2019).

By addressing the corruption issues, this meant that his central aim was ensuring that there was equality in the distribution of resources. In a countless number of occasions, that he was given a chance to address an audience, he kept on making critics, towards corrupt leaders and making clear suggestions that the leaders or citizens would adopt to ensure that they got healed from what he has continued to call neocolonialism. In one of the prominent speeches that he delivered in the memorial of the vast world's hero Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a former South African president and freedom fighter, he used his language and speech skills to catch people's attention, by confronting leaders directly (Quayson, 2015). He also explained that most of the leaders were still ruling, using similar techniques as those that were used in the pre-colonial periods. As a result, citizens were never enjoying the fruits of independence. His statements confirmed that social interest was one of his primary concerns with Africa, and thus was highly calling for liberations and revolutions.

How He Showed Inferiority and Compensation Factors

In this figure's personality, the trait of inferiority is demonstrated, when almost all of the members of parliament proposed in the parliament to file a case against him, demanding to throw him out of the office, for allegedly accusing them and making charges against them in the courts, as he was holding the position of the directorate of the anti-corruption commission in his country (Spears et al., 2019). Due to the ability of the figure to effectively choose his vocabulary and words correctly, he showed that he was confident enough to stand in the court of law against all the members of parliament, defended himself, and ensured that the final judgment was in his favour by, compensating him for all the salaries due in his agreed contract period.

Basically, "social interest is an inherent capacity in all human beings which is trained to develop language and speech" with the factor of inferiority coordinated together with the value of social interest, positive results have always emerged (Garrido-Fernandez & Moyano-Estrada, 2017). Moreover, his continued address to issues with corruption and inequality in the resource distribution, have helped some countries and motivated other people as well to fight corruption, and some citizens are already beginning to see the fruit of the independence as he states in his speech during the late Abraham Tiro's memorial.


In conclusion, Inferiority is a critical factor in any personality development, because, it may lead to compensation of individual rights of the oppressed, especially when the person has the social interest. This further explains the benefits of having social interest, as it is the building foundation of all other factors like inferiority and compensation, in addition, it is only those with social interest which can employ the characteristics of inferiority and compensation to produce an excellent result to the people, as Adler defines social benefits the "person's relationship with other beings, and owning a sense of belonging in the society" (Adler, 1927).


Adler, A. (1927). Individual psychology. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 22(2), 116. Retrieved from

Garrido-Fernandez, F., & Moyano-Estrada, E. (2017). Social Changes and Interest Groups in Rural Spain. The Reform of the CAP and Rural Development in Southern Europe (pp. 127-148). Routledge. Retrieved from

Katsakioris, C. (2019). The Lumumba University in Moscow: higher education for a Soviet-Third World alliance, 1960-91. Journal of Global History, 14(2), 281-300.

Quayson, A. (Ed.). (2015). the Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel. Cambridge University Press.

Spears, C. P. T. R., Yzerbyt, V. Y., & Teixeira, C. P. (2019). Accepted at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: IRGP section. Retrieved from

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