Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay

Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay
Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay
PSY 255 Personality Psychology Topic 3 DQ 2
Discuss Allport’s concept of functional autonomy. Identify two instances in your life where functional autonomy was present.
Topic 3 DQ 2
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Gordon W. Allport’s notion of ‘functional autonomy’ is defined as “a general principle of motivation stating that during the performance of purposeful, goal-oriented behavior, various derivative drives emerge as independent units from the original drive that inspired the behavior” (2020).Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay. It goes on to cite the example of studying motivated by the desire to obtain high grades, and how that could be gradually replaced by the desire for (and pursuit of) knowledge for its own sake. Reading this definition, it makes me think of the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. In intrinsic motivation, you perform the action because you want to, while in extrinsic motivation, you perform the action because you know you are going to get a reward. Based on the example provided by the APA, I would think that the concept of functional autonomy would relate more to intrinsic motivation. Offhand, I can think of many instances of extrinsic motivation that I have encountered, but it is harder to think of instances of intrinsic motivation. However, I guess if I had to identify two examples, I would cite the ones of transferring to Arizona School for the Arts during my freshman year of high school and volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul. I was intrinsically-motivated to attend ASA, so my parents went through all of the ‘hoops’ to get that started for me. I was also intrinsically-motivated to begin volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul, because I have always enjoyed benefitting the Phoenix community at large and giving back to those who are less fortunate. These are the two largest examples of functional autonomy that I feel were present in my life. Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay.
APA Dictionary of Psychology.
Topic 3 DQ 2
Hi xxx,
Reading your post about the “now” behavior to pursuit knowledge is a great example of ‘functional autonomy.’ Thanks for sharing.
After reading your post, it sparked a memory about how Nicholas Spark became a very famous author. He began his writing career by accident. He began to write to occupy time (boredom) from being sidelined from sports due to an injury. What began as filling time and keeping his mind off of his injury, became a lifetime habit and a very luractive career. Now his motive is not to pass time, but as a career. Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay.
Nicholas Sparks, tells the story best when he shares what his mother said to him. “Your problem is that you’re bored. You need to find something to do…” Then she looked at me and said the words that would eventually change my life: “Write a book.” Until that moment, I had never considered writing. Granted, I read all the time, but actually sitting down and coming up with a story on my own? …I was nineteen years old and had become an accidental author.”
I sure would love to inquire a ‘functional autonomy’ like Sparks that proved to be successful. Unfortunately, I think sometimes there can be functional autonomies that are not always healthy, but I’m sure that would be a matter of opinion. What if Sparks mother bought him video games and he just played video games for his whole season of being injuried? And, it video game playing continued throughout his life. We might never know who he is or have the opportunity to fall in love with the movie “Notebook.” Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay
Wikipedia contributors. (2020, January 10). Nicholas Sparks. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:15, April 9, 2020, from
Topic 3 DQ 2

Gordon Allport was not the one to look too much into a person’s past in order to understand the way people are presently. “This belief is most strongly evident in the concept of functional autonomy: Your motives today are independent (autonomous) of their origins” (Boeree, 2006, p. 32). An instance in my life where functional autonomy was present, I developed a taste for green beans or another example is I developed a taste for collecting tarot and oracle cards. It does not matter why I developed a taste for green beans or why I wanted to collect these cards. The facts are this is the way I am now. (Boeree, 2006) Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay.In terms of perseverative functional autonomy this is about habits or behaviors that no longer serve their original purpose but still continue. A good example of this is I used the word “like” frequently in speech to tease my cousin but now it serves no purpose and has become a habit. Another example is cracking my knuckles to relieve the pain in my hand but now it is a habit that I cannot quit. “Propriate function autonomy is something a bit more self-directed than habits” (Boeree, 2006, p. 34). Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay. A good example of this is I was punished for being selfish when I was a child. Another example is I was kind to animals. These do not detract from my generosity today; this has become my value. (Boeree, 2006).References –
Dr. C. George Boeree. (2006). Gordon Allport. Retrieved from

Topic 3 DQ 2

Hello Class,What Gordon Allport’s functional autonomy essentially means is that the actions used for achieving a goal become independent of themselves over time as one completes these actions toward completion of their goals. So, in the beginning of an undertaking towards a goal the actions are directly associated with the goal. Over time, these actions become normal and therefore less obviously associated with the end goal (Elsevier’s Dictionary of Psychological Theories, 2006). Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay.I can think of a few personal examples in my life, such as the undertaking of a new job or learning how to play guitar. Over time when learning my duties in the workplace or practicing guitar my actions became less about the end goal of learning these duties or chord progressions and scales, and more about performing them as I had become more proficient in them.
Allport’s functional autonomy principle. (2006). In J. E. Roeckelein (Ed.), Elsevier’s dictionary of psychological theories. Elsevier Science & Technology. Retrieved from Allport’s concept of functional autonomy Discussion Essay


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