Growing Up


Purpose of Site

Biography of Gordon Allport
Early Life
Growing Up
Late Life

His Work
Pattern and Growth in Personality

His Theories
Concept of Trait

The Propium
Human Nature
The Study of Values

Further Information
Other book titles

Allport attended Harvard University for his undergraduate studies.  At the time of his enrollment his older brother Floyd was attending Harvard's graduate school program in psychology.  Entering Harvard was not an easy transition for Allport.  He found the culture and moral values to be different from those he learned at home.  Aside from the culture shock Gordon was going through, his schoolwork suffered strain during his first months at Harvard.  He began his career at Harvard with D's and C's.  However, by the end of his first year he was getting A's in his classes, which remained steady throughout his undergraduate work.  Gordon majored in economics and philosophy and earned his B.A. degree in 1919. 

After graduating in 1919, Allport went to Istanbul, Turkey.  There he taught English and Sociology at Robert College, up until he returned back to Harvard to get his Master's studying under Herbert S. Langfeld, which he received in 1921.  Influenced by his brother Floyd, and Hugo Münsterberg he coauthored his first publication, "Personality Traits: Their Classification and Measurement," with his brother in 1921 (Alic, 1).  In 1922 he received his Ph.D. in psychology.  After receiving his Ph.D. Gordon continued studying abroad, in such places as University of Berlin and Hamburg in Germany, and the University of Cambridge in England.  In 1924 he returned to his alma mater and began teaching in the Department of Social Ethics. 

In 1925 he married Ada Lufkin Gould, who was a clinical psychologists.  They had one child, a boy, who later became a pediatrician.  He continued his teaching at Harvard with the course, "Personality: It's Psychological and Social Aspects."  This was perhaps the first course of its kind in the United States (Hevren).  From here he went to Dartmouth College where he taught introductory courses on social psychology and personality.  Gordon Allport returned to Harvard and became an Assistant Professor to in 1937.  It was around this time that Allport returned to his military roots and aided the Second World War by serving as the Head of the Committee in Psychology to deal with refugee scholars from Europe.  These scholars included such names as Stern, Kohler, Lewin, and the Buhlers among others (Hevren).