Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Gordon Allport

As the individual matures, the bond with the past is broken - Gordon Allport

Born : 11 November 1897
Died : 9 October 1967

Allport was one of the first psychologists to focus on the study of the personality, and is often referred to as one of the founding figures of personality psychology.

Personality Traits
Traits are measured on a continuum and are subject to social, environmental, and cultural influences.
  1. Personality traits are real and exists within each of us. They are not theoretical constructs or labels made up to account for behavior.
  2. Traits determined or cause behavior.
  3. Traits can be demonstrated empirically.
  4. traits are interrelated or may be overlap.
  5. Traits is vary from situation.

~Personal Dispositions~
Personal traits : it is a Traits that are peculiar to an individual, as opposed to traits shared by a number of people. 
Cardinal Traits : the most pervasive and influential that it touches almost every aspect of a person's life. He described it as a "ruling passion", a powerful force that dominates behavior. 
Central Traits : The handful of outstanding traits that describe a person's behavor. 
Secondary Traits : The least important traits, which a person many display inconsistently

~Habits and Attitudes~
Habits : specific, inflexible responses to specific stimuli, that is several habits may combine to form a traits. 
Attitudes : attitudes are similar to traits. however attitudes have specific objects of reference and involve either positive or negative evaluations.

Function of Autonomy of Motives

Allport was one of the first researchers to draw a distinction between Motive and Drive. He suggested that a drive formed as a reaction to a motive may outgrow the motive as a reason. The drive then is autonomous and distinct from the motive, whether it is instinct or any other. Allport gives the example of a man who seeks to perfect his task or craft. His reasons may be a sense of inferiority engrained in his childhood but his diligence in his work and the motive it acquires later on is a need to excel in his chosen profession. In the words of Allport, the theory "avoids the absurdity of regarding the energy of life now, in the present, as somehow consisting of early archaic forms (instincts, prepotent reflexes, or the never-changing Id). Learning brings new systems of interests into existence just as it does new abilities and skills. At each stage of development these interests are always contemporary; whatever drives, drives now.

The Development of the Proprium

  1. The Sense of Bodily Self, which is a sense of one's own body, including bodily sensations, attests to one's existence and therefore remains a lifelong anchor for self-awareness.
  2. The Sense of Self-identity , which is the second aspect of the proprium is self-identity. This is most evident when the child, through acquiring language, recognizes himself as a distinct and constant point of reference.
  3. The Sense of Self-Esteem or Pride, which is an individual's evaluation of himself and the urge to want to do everything for oneself and take all of the credit.
  4. The Sense of Self-Extension, occurs during the third year of life, which states that even though some things are not inside my physical body they are still very much a part of one's life.
  5. The Self-Image, or how others view "me" is another aspect of selfhood that emerges during childhood.
  6. The Sense of Self as a Rational-Coper occurs between the ages of six and twelve in which the child begins to realize fully that he ahs the rational capacity to find solutions to life's problems, so that they can cope effectively with reality demands.
  7. Propriate Striving, which Allport believed to be the core problem for the adolescent. It is the selection of the occupation or other life goal, the adolescent knows that their future must follow a plan, and in this sense makes them lose their childhood.
  8. Self as a Knower:The knower (thinking agent) "rides" on top of them. The thinker is different from his or her thoughts, is Allport's stand, contrary to William James, who ridiculously maintains that "The thoughts themselves are the thinker"

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