Week 4: Ch8 – Allport’s Trait Theory

Chapter 7 – Gordon Allport: Motivation and Personality

  1. Let’s attempt a compare and contrast between Freud’s perspective and Allport’s perspective on personality development. [250 word minimum]

Consider the meeting of Freud and Allport. Allport told a story about the little boy who was on the train with him to Vienna. Also, remember Freud’s analysis of this story. Did Freud believe that this story was a dream or fantasy of Allport, or did he perceive this story by Allport to be an accurate and detailed report of an incident from Allport’s real-life experiences? Even if Freud perceived this as an accurate and authentic story from Allport, was he correct in assuming that Allport fit this profile of a “little boy.” What would have happened if Allport received this report as genuine “analysis” of himself by Freud? Would Allport have changed his theory to say that childhood memories do indeed impact adulthood? Allport seems to have gone in an opposite direction than Freud on the impact of childhood, except for biological predispositions. Discuss the impact of what you might spontaneously say or perceive about a person who meets you for the first time. Was Freud being presumptuous in his analysis of Allport? Discuss how Allport believed one can tell more about a person by reading facial expressions rather than analyzing one’s past.

2. Now, let’s compare Allport’s methods with projective tests.

In the use of Allport’s traits and personal dispositions, would one understand and know a person more accurately than would be known by administering projective techniques? Discuss the merits of the projective technique, as opposed to Allport’s use of measures, such as Study of Values or other personal-document techniques, for normally healthy people. A simple, unofficial Values survey is offered at this link: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/valuestest.htmlLinks to an external site.  [250 word minimum]

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