Divergent: Personality And Gordon Allport's Theory Of Individual Psychology

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There many personality theories that can be related to the film Divergent. Two of which are Alfred Alder’s theory of individual psychology, looking specifically at striving for superiority and Gordon Allport’s trait theory. Personality is the “organization of a person’s character, temperament, intellect, and physique, which determines his unique adjustment to the environment” (Eysenck, 1970). These two theories examine how personality develops and features of an individual or group’s personality.

Alfred Alder’s personality theory placed a major emphasis on a person’s social involvement, known as individual psychology (Drapela, 1987). The basics of Adler’s theory is that man is motivated by social urges. Relating himself to others, engaging
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The idea of “Faction before blood…an important ideal… It goes against our fundamental human nature. But that 's… the weakness we need to overcome.” (Wick, Fisher, Shahbazian & Burger, 2014). Adler shared this same idea that social interest is the compensation for natural weaknesses within humans (Hall & Lindzey, 1970). In Divergent, it is expected for a teenager to become an adult upon choosing the faction they belong to. In Alder’s theory, the young man is driven by power to compensate for feeling inferior. Adler believed a healthy way to obtain superiority is to have endeavours that benefit all people (Drapela, 1987). In Divergent, it is the purpose of all to work together in their factions for the common good. Those who couldn’t be controlled, divergents, were believed to upset this system. It’s when “the individual feels at home… and feels his existence to be worthwhile…as he is useful to others and is overcoming feelings of inferiority” (Myers, 1995) achieved in Divergent when they choose the right faction they can excel in.

Adler believed social interest was inborn, developed by the people they surround themselves with and aspire to be. In the case of Divergent, the way they behave and interact within society is a result of the faction they are in and sometimes the ones they wish to be in, like Tris who acted like Abnegation the faction she was in and Dauntless the faction she wanted to
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These dominant one’s whole life and are easy to point out using these traits (Hjelle & Ziegler, 1976). In Divergent, these are the factions and the main core trait that comes with each making each person recognisable to that faction. For Dauntless it’s bravery, Abnegation is selflessness, Amity is peacefulness, Candor is honesty and Erudite is intelligence. In Divergent clothing is another way to distinguish and recognise a person’s cardinal trait as Dauntless wear black and red, Abnegation wears grey, Amity orange and yellow, Candor wears white and Erudite wear blue. Although these traits develop at different rates. Some may develop before if born in that faction and others like transfers will develop later once they transform their cardinal traits from their previous faction into the new one (Allport,

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