18 Traits Theories I: Gordon Allport's Humanistic Traits Theory Flashcards Preview

2014 Personality and Intelligence > 18 Traits Theories I: Gordon Allport's Humanistic Traits Theory > Flashcards

Flashcards in 18 Traits Theories I: Gordon Allport's Humanistic Traits Theory Deck (35)
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Birth/death dates of Gordon Allport?



How did Allport define personality (parsimoniously)?

Personality is what a human really is.


What is Allport's full definition of personality?

Personality is the dynamic organisation within the individual of those psychophysical systems (traits) that determine her or his characteristic behaviour and thought (or, unique adjustments to the environment).


What is Allport's heuristic realism?

The assumption that traits (or other constructs) are real and can be studied empirically.


Is personality a linear system?

No, it's greater than the sum of its traits, which interact with each other. Eg. charm and extraversion.


How many toes was Allport born with?



What is the nomothetic approach to personality?

The nomothetic approach attempts to establish universal (or group) laws (or principles) of human functioning, and understand the general variables that underlie personality. Eg. IQ test - score depends where you fall on distribution relative to others


What is the idiographic approach to personality?

The idiographic approach attempts to identify the unique combination of traits that can best describe specific individuals. Eg. clinical psychology.


How does Allport define traits?

A trait is a neuropsychic structure that can: - render many stimuli functionally equivalent, - initiate and guide equivalent (meaningfully consistent) forms of adaptive and expressive behaviour


What causes formation of traits?

Biology and acquired environmental habits


What's the difference between traits and temperament?

Temperament is more closely linked to biological determinants [this distinction hazy]


What's the difference between traits and habits?

Habits are simple S-R relationships (e.g. brushing teeth). A trait arises through the integration of numerous specific habits that have the same general adaptive significance to the person. (e.g. Cleanliness)


What's the difference between traits attitudes?

An attitude has one object of reference (e.g. not believing climate change) whereas a trait has many (e.g. skepticism).


How could the trait of friendliness render diverse stimuli functionally equivalent?

When meeting a stranger, dating a girlfriend, visiting family, individual is always outgoing, pleasant, warm, interested etc. These diverse stimuli are rendered functionally equivalent (in their effect on behaviour) by the trait of friendliness.


How many traits did Allport identify?

4,508. So impractical - one really long psychometric session.


What three category of traits were indentified by Allport?

Cardinal Central Secondary


What are cardinal traits?

Pervasive, outstanding and dominant traits. Eg. Mother Teresa - altruism. Not everyone has these.


What are central traits?

The traits that best describe an individual. E.g. dutiful, responsible, friendly


What are peripheral traits?

Traits that are peripheral to personality - e.g., musical taste, food preference.


Can narcissism be classified as a cardinal trait?

Sure, any kind of trait can fall into any one of the three categories (cardinal, central, peripheral) depending on its importance in an individual's personality.


How might a trait such as friendliness vary?

In how generalised it is – i.e. how many situations it can make equivalent.


What are the two types of common traits?

- Universal norms (we are one) - Group norms (some of us are one)


What are the unifying aspects of personality, selon Allport?

Personal experience of the self Sense of purpose


How did Allport's view of humanity differ from that of Freud?

Allport thought humans are normally creative, active and self-reliant.


What is Allport's name for the self?

The proprium.


What are the aspects of the proprium, in order of increasing abstraction?

Bodily self: physical sense & bodily reactions Self-identity: self-continuity and sameness of existence Self-esteem: sense of competence and worthiness Extended self: Abstract concepts of possession Self-image: appraisal of one's virtues/weaknesses Self as a rational coper: rationality, efficiency and knowledge Self as proprietor (knower): awareness of being and existing


How do the aspects of the proprium develop over the lifespan?


How did Allport differ from Freud in his view of how the past influences behaviour?

Allport believed behaviour was not necessarily result of fixations, infantile motivation or unconscious needs. Conscious planning and intention were also important. "Some people do grow up sometimes, in some respect be adult and normal in personality function."


What is Allport's idea of functional autonomy?

Functional autonomy regards adult motives as self-sustaining contemporary systems, growing out of antecedent systems, but functionally independent of them.


How can the causes of the same behaviour change over time?

A given behaviour may become an end in itself, despite the fact it was engaged in for some other reason. E.g. play tennis to lose weight, end up liking tennis.

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