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Transcript of GORDON ALLPORT
Trait Theory of Personality
Allport compiled a list of 4,500 traits from the dictionary and categorized them into 3 groups:
Trait Theory of Personality
This White Board presentation about Gordon Allport highlights his studies and work.
Attitude is actually a secondary trait, one that shows in certain circumstances.
November 11,1897 Montezuma, Indiana.
October 9, 1967 Cambridge, Massachussets.
He was a shy and studious as a young child.
His mother was a teacher and his father was a country doctor, who used the house to treat patients.
- Graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. degree in in philosophy and economics.
- Got a Ph.D in psychology at Harvard, following his brother Floyd's steps in psychology.
- Taught the first personality psychology class in the U.S. at Harvard
Founding Father of Personality Psychology
Psychology of Prejudice
Allport devised a scale that measured prejudice in a society.
Personality: a psychological interpretation.
The individual and his religion.
The nature of prejudice.
Becoming: Basic considerations for a psychology of personality.
Pattern and growth in personality.
*behaviors that no longer serve their original purpose but still continue
In 1922, Allport met Sigmund Freud in Vienna, Austria.
He described his observation of a young boy on the train who got upset about having to sit in a seat where a dirty man sat before.
Freud turned this simple observation into an analysis of Allport's unconscious memory of his own childhood.
Allport then realized that PSYCHOANALYSIS dug
deeply, whereas BEHAVIORISM does
dig deeply enough.
He began to connect personality and behavior.
Gordon Allport focused on these things:
*social injustice and prejudice
*Idiographic approach to research
*one's past doesn't influence the pressent as much as the present self
Phenomenological Def: An experienced self of the most essential, precious, and central things in life
1) Sense of Body
6) Rational Coping
7) Propriate Striving
a trait that dominates an individual's entire personality; they are rare
ex) Freudian, Christ-like, Scrooge (greed)
common traits that make up our personalities
ex) kindness, honesty, friendliness
Most people have 5-10 of these
traits present under conditions and circumstances
ex) getting nervous when about to talk to a crowd
preferences and attitudes included
*ability to feel and recognize things against our body
*seeing ourselves as individual entities
*recognition that we have value to ourselves and others
*certain things, people, or events that is essential to our existence
*how others view me; the "looking-glass self"
*ability to deal with life's problems effiently
*ability to be the proprietor, or owner, of my life
More on Traits
Personal Dispositions(traits) : concrete, easily recognized consistencies in our behavior
Common Traits: traits in a culture that most people name and recognize
Allport believed that traits are unique to EACH individual
IDIOGRAPHIC approach- observing and investigating one person at a time- were the best choice of research
Allport +Vernon + Lindzey
Study of Values
Self-report questionnaire-- 60 questions. Scores
have norms based on 1960. Looks at who scores
high on which values.
Allport reported that college students who
entered different occupations had different value
Recently, Huntley and Davis (1983) found that
scores on the study of values taken during
college were associated with occupations of male
students 25 years later.
love of people
Scale of Values
Nomothetic Approach-comparing people with similar personality dimensions
Ex) You could have started smoking as a rebellion phase during your youth; but now you smoke because you are addicted and cannot quit
Allport believed that childhood behaviors can resemble adult ones, but the same motive is not always there.
Psychoanalysis and behaviorism was popular at that time, which made people less open to Allport's ideas, but "he chose to use an eclectic approach" (Cherry) to study personality psychology.
Opposing the Fad
• Beoree, C. George. "Gordon Allport." Gordon Allport. N.p.,
2006. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
• Cherry, Kendra. "How Gordon Allport Became One of the
Founding Fathers of Personality Psychology." About. About Education, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
• Green, CHristopher D. "Personality Traits: Their Classification
and Measurements." – Allport & Allport (1921). N.p., Mar. 2000. Web. 30 Sept. 2014. <http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Allport/Traits/>.
• "Gordon Allport." New World Encyclopedia. N.p., 21 Sept.
2012. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
• "Later Life." Gordon Allport. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
Scale 1, Antilocution
Scale 2, Avoidance
Scale 3, Discrimination
Scale 4 Physical Attack
Scale 5 Extermination
*hate speech that is commonly harmless
*isolation of the minority
*majority actively tries to harm minority by denying opportunities and services
*minority material is vandalized/ violent attacks are attempted
*attempt for extermination of minority through genocide
New World Encyclopedia
= most widely known
Gordon Allport created a foundation for the future study of social psychology and humanist studies. He supported the idea that personality impacts behavior, but also went further to divide traits into different categories and emphasized the importance of observing individuals to determine different traits. All of his other ideas regarding personality psychology enhanced his work during the time period that was not open to new ideas like his.