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Allport’s Early Years

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Essay title: Allport’s Early Years


Gordon Allport was born in Montezuma, Indiana, in 1897, the youngest of four brothers. As a shy boy, he was teased and lived an isolated childhood. (Oloson/Sihed p191) His father was a country doctor, and this meant that his father’s patients were always in the house. Everyone in his house worked hard. His early life seemed to be pleasant and uneventful.

What is known about his life is Allport received his PH.D. in Psychology in 1922 from Harvard, following in the foot steps of his brother Floyd, who became an important social psychologists. (Allport 67) In the research collected, all that was mentioned was: When he was 22 he traveled to Vienna. He had arranged to meet with Sigmund Freud. There was at first silence, finally Gordon blurted out an observation he had made on his way to meet Freud. He mentioned that he had seen a little boy on the bus that was very upset at having to sit where a dirty old man had sat previously. Gordon thought that this child had learned this from his mother, a very neat and apparently a domineering type. Freud, instead of taking it as a simple observation, took it to be an expression of some

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