Critique on Gordon Allport (Theories of Personality)

2577 Words Oct 31st, 2012 11 Pages
Gordon Allport- theory review

PSY201

Boitumelo Chantelle Mangope

Introduction
Gordon Allport was truly a phenomenal personality theorist who explained what a personality is and he bent most of the rules that were set out by other theorists including the father of personality himself, Sigmund Freud and in addition to that, he considered Freud’s theory of personality as the worst theory of all time.

The Life of Gordon Allport
Gordon Allport was the first American-born personality theorist and hailed from the state of Indiana, Montezuma. He was born on 11 November 1897 and died a month before his 70th birthday (9 October 1967) due to lung cancer. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts, (majoring in Economics and Philosophy), Masters of Art in
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From that statement alone, it is clear that Allport was optimistic towards human nature for he further on went to say that there are individual traits, i.e. a unique pattern of traits which are possessed by an individual, and common traits, i.e. traits which are used to describe a group of individuals. One can clearly see that Allport was for human nature and uniqueness and appreciated that each individual had their own pattern of traits which could not be exactly the same as anyone else. He also went on to say that individuals are motivated by present motives and not passed motives and called this concept, the Functional Autonomy.
Major concepts of Gordon Allport
Gordon Allport deduced that there are different types of traits being individual traits and common traits. As mentioned earlier, individual traits are those traits which are possessed by a certain individual and common traits are those traits which are shared by several individuals. Allport believed that in order for a personality theorist to succeed in studying an individual, they (the theorist) should focus on the individual traits and not the common traits. Those individual traits are actually a cluster of traits and not just one trait. For example, a pattern of traits which I possess are the humanitarian trait, talkative trait, friendliness trait and many more. This pattern is unique to me for it is rare for any other individual to possess it.
Gordon
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