After entering Freud's office, he sat down nervously and told a story about a young boy he had seen on the train during his travels to Vienna. Gordon Allport was born in Indiana, the youngest of four boys. Freud studied Allport for a moment and then asked, "And was that little boy you?". Gordon Allport (1897 – 1967) was a well-respected and influential American scholar in the psychology field. The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century. Rather than focusing on the psychoanalytic and behavioral approaches that were popular during his time, Allport instead chose to utilize an eclectic approach. He was one of the first psychologists to focus on the study of personality. Personality: a Psychological Interpretation. He talks about prejudice as a hostile attitude, based on stereotyping, and blindness to the facts. He rejected two of the dominant schools of thought in psychology at the time, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, in favor of his own approach that stressed the importance of individual differences and situational variables. Review of General Psychology.2002;6(2):139-152. doi:10.1037//1089-2680.6.2.139. Vol 5. Behaviorism, on the other hand, Allport believed, did not dig deeply enough. We provide an overview of the type and trait theory of personality as developed by this famous psychologist. Allport stresses that this hostile attitude is not merely a hasty prejudgment before one knows the facts. After high school followed his older brother Floyd through the same educational path. Appointed a social science instructor at Harvard University in 1924, he became professor of psychology six years later and, in the last year of his life, … Allport operated his own printing business during his teen years and served as the editor of his high school newspaper. And it also criticizes the Freud's theory To the Behaviorism Radical and all theories of personality that are based on the observation of animal behavior. Gordon W. Allport (1897-1967). In addition to his trait theory of personality, he left an indelible mark on psychology. His important introductory work on the theory of personality was Personality: A Psychological Interpretation (1937). Harvard University; Department of Psychology. Encyclopaedia Britannica. He contributed to the formation of values scales and rejected both a psychoanalytic approach to personality, which he thought often was too deeply interpretive, and a behavioral approach, which he thought did not provide deep enough interpretations from their data. While it may have been defined in many ways, Gordon Allport defined traits as “a generalized neuropsychic system (peculiar to an individual), with the capacity to render many stimuli functionally equivalent, and to initiate and guide consistent (equivalent) forms of adaptive and expressive behavior”. The less than adequate hospital facilities in Cleveland required that Allport’s father allow doctors, nurses, and patients to reside in the home with the family. Research on Predjudice and Discrimination Gordon Willard Allport spent nearly his entire academic career at Harvard, completing both his bachelor’s degree and his PhD at the university, and serving as a faculty member from 1930 – 1967. His approach favoured emphasis on the problems of the adult personality rather than on those of infantile emotions and experiences. When he was 22, Allport traveled to Vienna, Austria, to meet the famous psychoanalyst. After a year of teaching, he returned to Harvard to finish his studies. The relationship between prejudice and categorical thinking was first systematically explored by Gordon Allport (1954) in his classic book The Nature of Prejudice. Born in Indiana in 1897, Gordon Allport was one of four children. Allport theorized that the child had acquired the behavior from his mother, who appeared to be very domineering. Allport, GW. Gordon Allport was born in Montezuma, Indiana, on November 11, 1897. Known as the “patron saint” of personality psychologists (Eysenck, 1990, p. 3), Allport was a major figure in American “personality” psychology. In a review of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, Allport was ranked as the 11th most eminent psychologist.. He began developing this theory by going through a dictionary and noting every term he found that described a personality trait. The book was written by Gordon Allport in the early 1950s and first published by Addison-Wesley in 1954. Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author, educational consultant, and speaker focused on helping students learn about psychology. A… Gordon Allport, in full Gordon Willard Allport, (born November 11, 1897, Montezuma, Indiana, U.S.—died October 9, 1967, Cambridge, Massachusetts), American psychologist and educator who developed an original theory of personality. His father was a country doctor, which meant that Gordon grew up with his father’s patients and nurses and all the paraphernalia of a miniature hospital. -Gordon Allport-Interesting facts about Type B personality. In 1915, Allport graduated second in his class and earned a scholarship to Harvard College, where one of his older brothers, Floyd Henry Allport, was working on a Ph.D. in psychology. In this view, intergroup contact under positive conditions can reduce social prejudice. His work as a teacher also had a profound effect on some of his students, including Stanley Milgram, Jerome S. Bruner, Leo Postman, Thomas Pettigrew, and Anthony Greenwald. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Gordon Allport was a pioneering psychologist often referred to as one of the founders of personality psychology. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father was a doctor who instilled in Allport a strong work ethic. Allport held what theories in concerned with historical facts rather than functional facts Freud's pleasure principle and the drive-reduction hypothesis of stimulus-response psychology. The experience would later serve as a reminder that psychoanalysis tended to dig too deeply.