The Propium:

A Real Self?


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 believed that personality is a mere bundle of unrelated traits.  The Proprium was a term coined by Allport which represents the positive, creative, growth-seeking, and forward-moving quality of human Nature (Hjelle and Zeigler p. 184).  Through this concept he listed seven different aspect of the self, which can also be compared to Freud's psychoanalysis and the different stages we go through as a child until we are adults, such as the Oedipus Complex, and the different stages of development. 

1.  The Sense of Bodily Self, which is a sense of one's own body, including bodily sensations, attests to one's existence and therefore remains a lifelong anchor for self-awareness.

2.  The Sense of Self-identity , which is the second aspect of the proprium is self-identity.  This is most evident when the child, through aquiring language, recognizes himself as a distinct and constant point of reference.

3.  The Sense of Self-Esteem or Pride, which is an individual's evaluation of himself and the urge to wan to do everything for oneself and take all of the credit.

4.  The Sense of Self-Extension, occurs during the third year of life, which states that even though some things are not inside my physical body they are still very much a part of one's life.

5.  The Self-Image, or how others view "me" is another aspect of selfhood that emerges during childhood.

6.  The Sense of Self as a Rational-Coper occurs between the ages of six and twelve in which the child begins to realize fully that he ahs the rational capacity to find solutions to life's problems, so that they can cope effectively with reality demands.

7.  Propriate Striving, which Allport believed to be the core problem for the adolescent.  It is the selection of the occupation or other life goal, the adolescent knows that their future must follow a plan, and in this sense makes them lose their childhood.