Freud insisted that all human motivation was based on the sex drive.
His pupil, Dr. Alfred Adler, disagreed. He thought that mastery over others was the main drive in human affairs.
Interpersonal power is the capacity to influence others while resisting their influence over you. Dozens of books are written each year on how to gain control and mastery over others.
Professor David McClelland studied the power motive in thousands of subjects. He concluded that the will to power as a human necessity much like the need for recognition, achievement, or love. In the course of his extensive research he identified three characteristics of people with a high power drive:
- They act in vigorous and determined ways to exert their power
- they spend a lot of time thinking about ways to alter the behavior and thinking of others
- They care very much about their personal standing with others
If any of these characteristics sound like you, it might mean that you’re compulsive about having power over others. Take this quiz, which may provide some further insight into your motivation. Continue reading