Martin Luther King A Dreamer Term Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Psychology Type: Term Paper Paper: #8862993 Related Topics: Booker T Washington, I Have A Dream, Ivan Pavlov, Positive And Negative Reinforcement
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Gandhi incited the people to protest peacefully rather than resort to violence. He believed that this form of rebellion suited the case of the blacks in America. After his doctorate studies at Boston University and his marriage to Coretta Scott, he became minister of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In Montgomery, blacks and whites were segregated and made to attend different schools and sit in separate sections in buses. There were times blacks were forced to stand even if there were vacant seats in the white section. When Rosa Parks refused to give in to this discrimination on December 1, 1955 and was arrested by the police, a revolt developed among blacks E.D. Nixon bailed Rosa out and initiated a boycott of the buses. The media circulated the boycott. Black leaders urged for courteous treatment and for seating on a first-come, first-served basis. They also demanded for black drivers to drive the buses. The boycott lasted for a year until the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation as unlawful in December 1956. Black students staged "sit-ins" in lunch counters to protest being refused food service in eating places. In 1957, Martin Luther King Jr. helped establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was its first president. He was the symbol and key figure of the Civil Rights Movement (the Seattle Times, 2010). He led the Montgomery Improvement Association and its successful Montgomery bus boycott for a year. His lectures and speeches, marches and movements awakened the conscience of the people. These led to significant changes in American social life. His exemplary courage and selfless devotion provided strong direction to civil rights activities for 13 years. His charismatic style of leadership awed people everywhere (the Seattle Times).

His transition from each level of need can be gleaned from his evolution to a man of magnanimity. He introduced his leadership principles as vision, effective communication, willingness to learn, willingness to lead, and conflict resolution (Brunicardi et al., 2007). He developed these principles inwardly before infusing others with them as a leader (Brunicardi et al.). These experiences illustrate the concept of motivation in him, which drove him to do what he did and to urge others to follow.

The Concept of Motivation

It was first perceived by Greek philosophers as hedonism, whereby human


It was studied by English utilitarian thinkers, including Thomas More in his famous book, "Utopia." Behavior chooses from mentally listed possible courses of actions for the best choices to bring satisfactory results. Other thinkers who considered the concept included John Locke, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud in the 1900s, Ivan Pavlov in 1906, and social psychologist William McDougall in 1908. Walter B. Cannon contributed the theory of homeostatis during World War I as the physical driving force behind motives. John Watson and B.F. Skinner contributed behavioral psychology in the 30s. Skinner believed that positive and negative reinforcements drove human behavior one way or other. One end of the concept leads to altruism and the other, to egoism. Altruism feels an obligation to increase the pleasure of others. It is composed of a desire to give, empathy and the lack of personal motivation for a return. Humanistic psychology was developed and Maslow introduced his theory of self-actualization. Major examples of popular self-actualized figures are Martin Luther King Jr. And Gandhi (Boswell).

Research showed that the more convinced a person is in performing a certain action, the greater the likelihood of his following it through (Boswell, 2010). Increased pressure also impels him to the pursuit. Both factors motivated Martin Luther King Jr. towards his goal. Current theories and common wisdom attribute a combination of nature and nurture as behind human motivation -- Martin Luther King Jr.'s, in particular (Boswell). #


Boeree, G.C. (2006). Personality theories: introduction. University of Arkansas.

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Boswell, H. (2010). Motivation to giving and serving. Center for Philanthropy: Indiana

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Brown, M., compiler (2010). Martin Luther King, Jr.: a biographical sketch. LSU

Library: Louisiana State University. Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Brunicardi, F.C. et al. (2007). The leadership principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

and their relevance to surgery. Vol 99 # 1, Journal of the National Medical

Association: National Medical Association. Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Garden of Praise (2010). Martin Luther King, Jr. Garden of Praise. Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Kaaschau, R.A. (1980). Personality theories. Psychology Exploring Behavior: Prentice

Hall. Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Seattle Times (2010). The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Seattle Times Company.

Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Simons, J.A. et al. (1987). Maslow's hierarchy of needs. New York: West Publishing

Company. Retrieved on November…

Sources Used in Documents:


Boeree, G.C. (2006). Personality theories: introduction. University of Arkansas.

Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Boswell, H. (2010). Motivation to giving and serving. Center for Philanthropy: Indiana

University. Retrieved on November 25, 2010 from

Cite this Document:

"Martin Luther King A Dreamer" (2010, November 26) Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

"Martin Luther King A Dreamer" 26 November 2010. Web.17 October. 2021. <>

"Martin Luther King A Dreamer", 26 November 2010, Accessed.17 October. 2021,

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