Who is Gordon Willard Allport?

Who is Gordon Willard Allport?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

He is an American psychologist.

He was born in the United States in 1897 as the youngest of four children.

In 1919, at the age of 22, Allport went to Vienna alone and wanted to meet Freud. When he realized this goal, he transferred an observation he had caught on his way to Vienna to Freud. Allport had met a boy on the train who hadn’t sat in the seat of a dirty old man before. The boy stated that his mother had taught him this. Allport said he thinks certain phobias may have been taught by parents. After looking at it for a while, Freud said, “And is that you?” he asked.

Allport found Freud’s reaction quite profound. Thus, he realized that psychoanalytic theories focus too much on deep and unconscious processes, ignoring the patient’s current motivations, feelings, and experiences. On the other hand, according to Allport, the behaviorist approach ignored these needs because it was too superficial in this sense.

He received his PhD in psychology from Harvard in 1922, becoming one of the leading social psychologists.

He worked on social psychology topics such as prejudice and developing personality tests.

Allport was the first of the psychologists to study personality. He believed that it was useful neither to go too deep, as in psychoanalytic theory, nor to stay on the surface, like behaviorist theory, for understanding personality. According to Allport, emphasizing the uniqueness of each individual, he suggested that the best way to understand personality is to evaluate it in the context of the moment.

He worked at Harvard University between 1930-1967, becoming one of the important names of the university.

He died in Massachusetts in 1967.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook