Pattern And Growth In Personality PDF By Gordon W Allport

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Pattern And Growth In Personality

Let’s start by comparing two statements: (1) “Walter has such an interesting personality.” (2) “What an interesting thing personality is.”

In the first statement, I exclude Sam, Jim, and Ruth; I am calling attention to the unique psychological pattern that marks Walter as a person.

In the second statement, I mean to include Walter, Sam, Jim, Ruth, and everyone else in the world.

Both the statements are vastly different in their coverage: one man and billions of men. But both the statements are equally true.

The term personality refers to both the mind in particular and the mind in general.

If we want to study personality we must be prepared to shift our attention rapidly from the particular to the general, from the concrete to the abstract and back again.

This shuttling is helpful. What we learn from Walter helps us to know the Man-in-General, and what we know about the Man-in-General is partly applicable to Walter.

There are many examples of shuttling in the pages of this book. Our aim is to discover the general principles of development, organization.

and expression of individuality, while we emphasize the fact that the outstanding characteristic of man is his individuality.

He is a unique creation of the forces of nature. There has never been a person like him and never will be. remember fingerprint; Even it is unique.

All science, including psychology, ignores this paramount fact of personality for reasons that we will shortly examine.

On the other hand, in daily life, we are in no danger of forgetting that thing. Vision is the supreme mark of human nature.

During our waking lives, and even in our dreams, we recognize and treat people as separate, distinct, and unique individuals.

We know that they are born and die at certain times and manifest their characteristic pattern of physical and mental symptoms throughout their life span.

Given the uniqueness of the heritage and environment of each person, it could not be otherwise.

group norm. Frankly, it’s hard to follow universal norms.

If Sam is an American we are more likely to rate him as British or Chinese than other Americans, if Sam’s IQ is 110, we really mean he is slightly above average for a group that has been tested with a certain test, presumably US citizens.

But we need not bother with this distinction: we note only that universal norms turn into group norms.

Group norms are especially important when we say that Sam is a specific thing-or-other:

A typical businessman, a typical herd-sail Baptist, an egghead, a manic-depressive type, a sports type, or a typical Southerner.

Such statements imply that Sam has a set of qualities that are not very different from most members of the group to which he belongs or to which he is being compared.

Or, conversely, we could say that Sam is a bit of a misnomer in his own group: he’s not the typical doctor or farmer.

We can say, “It is hard to believe that he is a school teacher.”

But whether he is like or different from others in his group, we use group norms to judge his nature.

personal criteria. After getting to know Sam, we set our expectations for him.

His own characteristics, the individual pattern of his interests, the organization of his personality form a standard for judgement.

If a work meets our expectations, we say, “That’s so special”; If not, we say “How different from him,” or “He is not himself today.” Rosenzweig has applied the term idiodynamics to the study of this individual pattern,^^

We note that universal and group norms are the concern of nominal science.

Individual norms lead us again to the concept of idiomatic science.

Our argument here is, as depicted in Figure 1, that the psychology of personality can proceed neither by generalities alone, nor by personalities alone, but rather “occupies an intermediate position.”

AuthorGordon W Allport
PDF Size60.5 MB
CategorySelf Improvement


Pattern And Growth In Personality PDF Free Download

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