Allport, Gordon W.

views updated May 18 2018

Allport, Gordon W. (1897–1967) A leading American social psychologist who became head of the Harvard Department of Psychology in 1938. His most significant contributions include a theory of personality, which highlighted the self and the proprium, the latter defined as ‘all the regions of our life that we regard as peculiarly ours’ (see Becoming, 1955
); studies of the importance of prejudice as a historical and cultural, as well as a psychological, phenomenon; an emphasis on the importance of personal documents in social science (such as his collection of Letters from Jenny, 1965); and his championing of the ideographic method.