Gordon Willard Allport

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Allport, Gordon Willard

 

Born Nov. 11, 1897, in Montezuma, Ind., died Oct. 9, 1967, in Cambridge, Mass. American psychologist.

In 1919, Allport graduated from Harvard University, where he subsequently taught psychology, becoming a professor in 1942. He was editor of the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology from 1937 to 1949. Allport’s general concept of personality was opposed to the psychoanalytic and behavioristic viewpoints, as well as to W. MacDougall’s hormic psychology.

Personality, according to Allport, is a dynamic aggregation within the individual of special motivational systems (seeMOTIVES), habits, attitudes, and individual personality traits, all of which participate in the formation of every individual’s unique interaction with the environment—especially the social environment. New motives develop out of—but function independently of—old motives. Allport does not consider a person’s past history to be the source of behavior; rather, an individual’s behavior is determined by his present and future and by higher conscious motives that are of a relatively later origin in the lifespan. These motives subordinate primitive impulses and form the core of the personality. Allport views the present condition of a given individual’s personality in terms of future potential; an active personality strives to realize this potential.

While acknowledging that personality is a phenomenon that emerges from a system of sociocultural ties, Allport fails to give a substantive analysis of the concrete societal and historical conditions amid which personality develops.

WORKS

Personality. London, 1949.
The Nature of Prejudice. Garden City, N.Y. [1958].
The Individual and His Religion: A Psychological Interpretation. New York, 1960.
Pattern and Growth of Personality. New York, 1961.
Psychology of Rumor. New York, 1965. (With L. Postman.)
Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality. New Haven-London, 1967.

REFERENCES

Antsyferova, L. I. “Psikhologiia lichnosti kak ‘otkrytoi sistemy’.” Voprosy psikhologii, 1970, no. 5. Hall, C. S., and G. Lindzey. Theories of Personality. New York-London, 1957.

G. E. AVDEEVA

References in periodicals archive ?
In 1937, Gordon Allport catalogued some 50 definitions of personality (Allport 1937); despite the earlier work by other writers cited by Allport, the popular concept of personality as commonly described is the result of Allport, who has been termed the "inventor" of the concept of personality as popularly described in terms of traits (Nicholson 2003).
FACULTY SEEKING TO CREATE LEARNING ACTIVITIES THAT FACILITATE EXPOSURE TO AND ENHANCE THE LEARNING OF INTERPROFESSIONAL (IP) HEALTH CARE TEAM BEHAVIORS WILL BENEFIT FROM AN UNDERSTANDING OF GROUP PROCESSES AS ADVOCATED BY SOCIAL SCIENTIST GORDON ALLPORT.
In 1923, the year my father was born, Gordon Allport wrote in a private letter that, "'I have never essentially wavered from my desire to correlate Psychology and Social Ethics'" (cited in Nicholson, 2003, p.
Arne Roets and Alain Van Hiel of Ghent University in Belgium looked at what psychological scientists have learned about prejudice since the 1954 publication of an influential book, The Nature of Prejudice by Gordon Allport.
Classic thinkers such as Galen, Augustine, Rene Descartes, and William James are dutifully accounted for, but the inclusion of names ranging from William Inge, Gordon Allport, and George Combe to Donald MacKay, David Premack, and novelist Mark Salzman displays the authors substantial historical knowledge base as well as a contemporary sensibility.
One approach to tackling this problem was developed by American psychologist Gordon Allport who argued that qualitative contact between conflicting groups is a meaningful way to reduce hostility and prejudice as well as cultivate more positive attitudes between group members.