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Submitted By lldavis
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Gordon ALLPORT was born November 11, in Montezuma, Indiana in 1897. He was the youngest of his four brothers and was often described as shy, but also hard working and studious. His mother was a school teacher and his father was a doctor who instilled in ALLPORT a strong work ethic. During his childhood, his father used the family home to house and treat patients.

ALLPORT operated his own printing business during his teen years and served as the editor of his high school newspaper. In 1915, ALLPORT graduated second in his class and earned a scholarship to
Harvard College, where one of his older brothers, Floyd Henry ALLPORT, was working on a Ph.D. in psychology. After earning his A.B. degree in Philosophy and Economics from Harvard in 1919, ALLPORT traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to teach philosophy and economics. After a year of teaching, he returned to
Harvard to finish his studies. ALLPORT earned his Ph.D. in psychology in 1922 under the guidelines of
Hugo Munsterberg.

In an essay entitled Pattern and Growth in Personality, Gordon ALLPORT recounted his experience of meeting psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. In 1922, ALLPORT traveled to Vienna, Austria to meet the famous psychoanalyst. After entering Freud’s office, he sat down nervously and told a story about a boy he had seen on the train during his travels to Vienna. The boy, ALLPORT explained, was afraid of getting dirty and refused to sit where a dirty-looking man has previously sat. ALLPORT theorized that the child had acquired the behavior from his mother, who was appeared to be very domineering.

ALLPORT viewed the experience as an attempt by Freud to turn a simple observation into an analysis of ALLPORT’s supposed unconscious memory of his own childhood. The experience would later serve as a reminder that psychoanalysis tended to dig too deeply.

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