Chapter 12- Allport: Psychology Of The Individual Flashcards Preview

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Alport called the study of the individual:

Morphogenic science. Nomothetic methods gather data on groups of people


Answers to three interrelated questions reveal outports approach to personality theory:

1) what is personality?
2) what is the role of conscious motivation in personality theory?
3) what are the characteristics of the psychologically healthy person?


According to Allport, this is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine the person's behavior and thought

Personality. Includes both physical and psychological properties and both stability and flexibility. Personality not only is something but it does something, it includes both behavior and thinking


More than any other personality theorist, Allport recognize the importance of _______ ________. He's emphasis of this concept probably began with his short-lived discussion with Freud. Rather than viewing Freud's comments of the little boy on the train as an expression of an unconscious motive, he would attribute the story as an expression of this concept

Conscious motivation


Allport listed six criteria for psychological health:

1) an extension of the sense of self, they participate and identify with events outside themselves
2) they have a warm relating of self to others
3) they have emotional security or self acceptance
4) possess a realistic perception of their environment
5) have insight and humor
6) they have a unifying philosophy of life, a clear view of the purpose of life


To Alport, the most important structures of personality are those that permit description of the individual in terms of individual characteristics, and he called these individual structures:

Personal dispositions


Allport was careful to distinguish between ______ traits and individual traits. _____ traits are general characteristics held in common by many people



Some people possess an eminent characteristic or ruling passion so outstanding that it dominates their lives, Allport called these personal dispositions:

Cardinal dispositions. They are so obvious that they cannot be hidden. Not everyone has a cardinal disposition


According to Allport, everyone has these dispositions which include the 5 to 10 most outstanding characteristics around which a person's life focuses. Those dispositions that would be listed in an accurate letter of recommendation written by someone who knew the person quite well

Central dispositions


According to Allport, less conspicuous but far greater in number than central dispositions are these, everyone has many that are not central to the personality yet occur with some regularity and are responsible for much of one specific behaviors

Secondary dispositions


According to Allport, these are intensely experienced dispositions that receive their motivation from basic needs and it drives

Motivational dispositions


According to Allport, these personal dispositions are less intensely experienced that guide action, instead of initiate it. They referred to the manner in which an individual behaves

Stylistic dispositions


According to Allport, this term refers to all those behaviors and characteristics that people regard as warm and central in their lives and he preferred this term over self or ego because those terms imply an object or thing within a person that controls behavior



According to Allport, these are motives that reduce a need

Peripheral motives


According to Allport, these strivings seek to maintain tension and disequilibrium

Propriate strivings


According to Allport, people not only react to their environment, but they also shape their environment and cause it to react to them. And adequate theory of personality, must allow for ______ ______

Proactive behavior


This is allports most distinctive and controversial concept, which holds that some, but not all, human motives are functionally independent from the original motive responsible for a particular behavior

Functional autonomy


Allport listed for requirements of an adequate theory of motivation:

1) it will acknowledge the contemporaneity of motives
2) it will be a pluralistic theory, allowing for motives of many types
3) Will ascribe dynamic force to cognitive processes
4) Will allow for the concrete uniqueness of motives


According to Allport, this level of functional autonomy is the tendency of certain basic behaviors to persevere or continue in the absence of reinforcement

Perseverative functional autonomy


According to Allport, this level of functional autonomy refers to self-sustaining motives, such as interests, that are related to the proprium

Propriate functional autonomy


According to Allport, a present motive is functionally a Tonna missed to the extent that it seeks new

Goals. Meaning that the behavior will continue even as a motivation for it changes


Allport listed eight processes that are not functionally autonomous:

1) biological drives, such as eating, breathing, and sleeping
2) motives directly linked to the reduction of basic drives
3) reflex actions such as an eye blink
4) constitutional equipment such as physique, intelligence, and temperament
5) habits in the process of being formed
6) patterns of behavior that require primary reinforcement
7) sublimation's that can be tied to childhood sexual desires
8) some neurotic or pathological symptoms


This person emphasized the uniqueness of the individual and objected to trait and factor theories that tend to reduce individual behaviors to common traits. He believed that no theory is completely comprehensive, and psychology should always realize that much of human nature is not included in any single theory

Gordon Allport


Allport favored morphogenic procedures over nomothetic ones, morphogenic investigation study only one person at a time and are opposed to nomothetic methods that study large numbers of people. _______ refers to that which is peculiar to the single case



All ports to most famous morphogenic reports were the diaries of ______ ______ and the letters from ______

Marion Taylor, Jenny


Even though Allport never published data from Marion Taylor's diaries, he did publish a second case study-that of Jenny Gove Masterson, whose son had been Gordon Allport's college _______



Two of Allports students used a personal structure analysis and factor analysis, while Allport used a common sense approach to discern Jenny's personality structure as revealed by her letters. All three approaches yielded similar results, suggesting that morphogenic studies can be _______



Related research on Allports intrinsic versus extrinsic religious orientation found that some highly religious people had high levels of psychological health, whereas other suffered from a variety of psychological disorders. The principal difference between the two churchgoing groups is that people with an _______ orientation tend to be psychologically healthy, but those with an ________ orientation suffer from poor psychological health

Intrinsic, extrinsic


Allport conducted research on the topic of reducing prejudice and he proposed the contact hypothesis, stating that more contact under optimal conditions was one of the most important components to reducing prejudice. The results of the study found that the four specific criteria originally outlined by Allport are indeed essential to reduction of prejudice. They also found that while the concept of optimal contact was originally a way to reduce racial prejudice, it also works to reduce prejudice toward the ______ and the ________ ____

Elderly, mentally ill


Allport theory rates low in 2 areas

It's ability to organize knowledge, and to be falsified