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Allport, Gordon W.

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.

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Allport, Gordon W.

Gordon W. Allport: (ôl´pôrt), 1897–1967, American psychologist, b. Montezuma, Ind. One of the first psychologists to study personality, Allport researched human attitudes, prejudices, and religious beliefs. His theory of personality, which rejected both Freudian psychology and behaviorism, emphasized the uniqueness of the individual and the need to treat problems in terms of present conditions as opposed to childhood experiences. He wrote Personality (1937), The Individual and His Religion (1950), and The Nature of Prejudice (1954).

See the study by R. J. Evans (1971).

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