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Gordon Allport's Psychology

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With regards to Allport

- Analyze the strengths and limitations of the theory listed in explaining individuals' behavior

- Describe how dispositional theories affect individual personalities.

- Explain how dispositional theories influence interpersonal relationships.

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Solution Summary

This solution discusses the Individual Theory of Gordon Allport.

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? Gordon Allport's Psychology of the Individual Theory

The psychologist, Gordon Allport (1927) held that studying many individuals could not effectively determine traits for a single individual. Thus, he sought to reduce analyses on "a set of traits" to fit all individuals to individual thoughts, feelings and actions. He postulated that many individual behaviors are similar in meaning. In other words, a trait is an internal structure. From Allport's perspective on personality, individuals have a common biological heritage and a common cultural heritage subsisting in common structures (traits). Allport further emphasized that although people could be compared on individual dimensions, these analyses could not provide an understanding of an individual's personality.

Piekkola (2011) posits that Allport's admonition should be recalled that "a general law may be a law that tells how uniqueness comes about, which may be more common to personality psychology than biology" (p. 194). For Allport, the study of traits was the primary ...

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