Gordon Allport's Theory Of Personality Essay

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Psychologists Bauer, Schwab, and McAdams conducted research with a grant from the Foley Family Foundation on the paradox surrounding psychosocial maturity and self-actualization in relation to well-being. “They were attempting to provide a theoretical explanation for how well-being might emerge normatively at the highest stage of psychosocial maturity. They researched several theories of personality development that posit a highest stage of development that parallels Maslow’s stage of self-actualizing, among the theories studied were the integrated stage of Loevinger’s (1976) ego development (ED), inter-individual self-understanding in Kegan’s (1982) model of the evolving self, universalizing faith in Fowler’s (1981) model of faith development,…show more content…
Allport’s theory bases its assumptions on both physical and psychological factors. Allport’s individual structure of a personality describes an individual’s unique characteristics that define his or her personality. He refers to these characteristics as personal dispositions, which includes cardinal dispositions, central dispositions, and secondary dispositions (Schultz 198). According to Allport, “a cardinal trait is so pervasive and influential that it touches almost every aspect of a person’s life; it is a powerful source that dominates behavior. Cardinal dispositions are not part of everyone’s personality but tend to dominate or take precedence over other characteristics; cardinal dispositions can include characteristics, such as womanizing, extreme chauvinistic, and homophobic tendencies, which appears to be part of Charlie Sheen’s characteristics. A central trait describes our behavior, such as aggressiveness, self-pity, and cynicism. Secondary traits, which appear much less consistently than cardinal and…show more content…
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory infers that the individual as a whole experiences the motivation for the need and not simply a specific part of the individual. He believed that an individual’s behavior will occur as a result of more than one motivating factor. For example, the need for love can also mean this individual desires an increase in his or her self-image, acceptance by others, belonging, human contact, or other such factors of love. Maslow’s concept assumes that lower level needs must be satisfied or at least relatively satisfied before higher level needs become motivators. He also believed that if needs go unmet or were deficient, that it creates a pathology in that individual resulting in malnutrition, fatigue, loss of energy, obsession with sex, and so on. In other words, to reach the higher level of self-actualization, the lower level needs must be at a level of satisfaction within the individual. Maslow looked for motivation behind every action, whereas Allport looked for definitive traits that describe the individual’s personality. Allport was more invested in the idea that uniqueness played a certain role in maintaining the progression toward becoming a “healthy adult” and his studies leaned more toward philosophical speculation and common sense. Allport’s research on personality regarding the different
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