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Case Study 31 - Monica

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Jenn Pulju

on 29 August 2014

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Transcript of Case Study 31 - Monica

Case Study 31 - Monica
Monica in a nutshell and my intial reactions
Monica is described as a 38-year-old stay-at-home mom with four kids that she loves. Recently, she has started to feel bored at home. She used to work outside the home and found that fulfilling. She is also considering returning to school soon and is nervous about it (Ashcraft 113).

Now, let's look at Monica in more detail.
Question 1
Allport suggested seven criteria that demonstrate that a person is psychologically healthy (mature).

What are they? Find examples of them in the case.
Question 2
What are the differences between cardinal, central, and secondary traits?

What are some of Monica's secondary traits?

Question 3

What is functional autonomy?

Find an example of preservative functional autonomy in the case.

4. Self Extension
Allport described this stage as the time when a sense of ownership develops outside of oneself typically between the ages of 4 and 6 (Berecz 112).
1. Bodily Self
Allport describes this first stage of development as the time in which a child discovers their body and senses (Bercz 112).
3. Self-Esteem
Allport describes this as the time during our third year of life when we begin to develop "a sense of pride and accomplishment in mastering tasks," (Berecz 112).
2. Self - Identity
Allport describes this second stage as the time when a child "develops a sense of inner sameness and continuity" (Berecz 112).
6. Self-as-Rational-Coper
According to Allport, this is the stage (typically developing between ages of 6 and 12) during which an individual develops "a sense of one's rational problem solving capacities," (Berecz 112).
Final Stage
Propriate Striving
5. Self Image
Allport described this stage (typically between the ages of 4 to 6) as the time when "the awareness of how one's behavior measures up to the expectations of others," (Berecz 112).
Cardinal, Central and Secondary Traits
Cardinal Traits - "A trait that dominates and shapes a person's behavior. These are the ruling passions/obsessions, such as the need for money, fame etc." (source below)

Central Traits - "A general characteristic that every person has to some degree. These are the basic building blocks that shape most of our behavior, although they are not as overwhelming as cardinal traits. An example of a central trait would be honesty," (source Below)

Secondary Traits - "A characteristic seen only in certain circumstances (such as particular likes or dislikes that a very close friend may know). They must be included to provide a complete picture of human complexity," (source below)

Monica's Secondary Traits

"You would never know from looking at her that Monica is such a warm and caring person. She actually looks a bit intimidating and angry," (Ashcraft 113).

she "defers to others with a better education," but does not think of herself as unintelligent (Ashcraft 114).

She has a strong sense of fun and loves to make jokes with her friends and family (Ashcraft 114).

She is sometimes forgetful and loses her temper occasionally (Ashcraft 114).

Functional Autonomy

Allport's definition of functional autonomy "suggests that adult motives and behaviors are not necessarily tied to earlier childhood experiences," (Berecz 113).

Monica and Preservative Autonomy
I had to look up a definition of preservative autonomy and found this on an online quiz prep site:

A behavior that becomes preservative or self-repeating because it develops new motivation roots in some biological or neurological process. For example, a person who originally smokes to get the approval of peers may continue because of the development of an addiction to nicotine. (source below)

I feel like Monica's use of humor is likely an example of preservative autonomy. She has a large network of friends who describe her as warm, caring and talkative person (Ashcraft 114). I feel like she probably started using humor to offset some of the more extreme parts of her personality, like her perfectionist tendencies and aversion to clutter and messiness.

source: http://quizlet.com/11697045/psyc-501-chapter-11-vocab-flash-cards/
(I did correct a typo in their definition.

Question 4
What is proprium, according to Allport? What is Monica's proprium?
Allport's Proprium
"...the totality of the person as process, as an entity that is becoming," (Berecz 111).
Monica's Proprium
Monica seems to have a sense of what makes her unqiue as an individual.
Question 5

What is propriate striving? Find an example of it in the case.

Propriate Striving
This is the 7th stage of Propriate Development, as defined by Allport, that develops during adolescence.

As individuals develop, they begin "owning and accepting one's feelings, needs, thoughts, and goals [and} provides the foundation for adulthood," (Berecz 113).
According to Allport, this final stage develops between ages 12 and adolescence, where one develops, "a sense of one's purpose and goals in the long-term future," (Berecz 112).
Allport's Propriate Functions

"Allport believed that development occurs in gradual stages and involves the entire personality.

Allport saw the proprium as evolving in seven developmental stages which all merged in final stage-adulthood," (Bercz 112).

source: https://www.boundless.com/management/organizational-behavior/personality/other-important-traits/
Or, in words I actually understand, this is the final stage of Allport's developmental model, where "the totality of all previous experiences is integrated into an awareness of self," (Berecz 113).
I think Allport would be able to use several examples from Monica's life to show she had developed through this stage.

She is aware that she does things that her family and friends find amusing:
her cleaning
her frustration
Discussion Questions
Monica seems nervous about possibly returning to school, at what propriate stage do you think these feelings originated? And why?

What, if any, aspects of Allport's theory did you find the most useful?
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