HTP Prints

Gordon Allport, character, and the culture of personality, 1897-1937

Nicholson, Ian A.M. (1998) Gordon Allport, character, and the culture of personality, 1897-1937. History of Psychology 1(1):pp. 52-68.

Full text available as:


This article examines the cultural context of early American personality psychology through a consideration of the early career of Gordon Allport. Between 1921 and 1937, Allport was among the leading figures in the movement to establish personality as a research category in American psychology. Far from being a strictly scientific concern, Allport's project was deeply embedded in the cultural politics of the age. Of particular importance was the gradual erosion of the language of character and the self-sacrificing, morally grounded self that it supported. Allport's "psychology of personality" helped fuel this trend while simultaneously attempting to resist it. His experience illustrates the elasticity and moral ambiguity of the newly emerging category of personality.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:personality, Gordon Allport
Subjects:Psychology > Personality
Chronology > 20th Century
Geography > North America
ID Code:169
Deposited By:Nicholson, Ian
Deposited On:27 July 2003