Friday, November 15, 2013

What are the characteristics of a healthy person according to Gordon Allport? How does this theory compare with Abraham Maslow’s concept of self-actualization?

     Gordon Willard Allport an American psychologist, as for personality Allport was one of the first psychologists to focus his or her work on it. Often Allport is referred to as a founding figure of personality psychology. According to Allport  the characteristics of healthy individuals consists of different aspects. Psychologically mature individuals possess characteristics of proactive behavior; whereas they react to external stimuli and have the capacity of consciously acting on his or her environment in both new and innovative means, which causes his or her environment to react to him or her (Feist & Feist, 2009). Proactive behavior is directed at reducing tensions and establishing new tensions. Also those that possess a mature personality are likely to be motivated by conscious processes rather than disturbed individuals. This allows one with a mature personality to be more autonomous and flexible unlike unhealthy individuals who are affected by unconscious motives from childhood experiences that dominate them (Feist & Feist, 2009). Individuals deemed healthy normally have relatively trauma-free childhood experiences.
     In comparison to Maslow’s theory of self-actualization, Allport emphasized an individual's uniqueness, and that individual's maturity is seen during different points in an individual's life; while Maslow's thought individuals had to go through a hierarchy of needs before reaching maturity.    
Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of personality (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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