Proprium is Allport's term for the Ego or Self. In Allport’s theory, Proprium, is the aspect of personality containing all the features of the self.


In psychology, the term "proprium" refers to the core aspect of an individual's self-identity or sense of self. It encompasses the psychological qualities, attributes, and characteristics that are considered central to one's identity and contribute to a cohesive sense of selfhood. The proprium is comprised of various elements, including values, beliefs, goals, desires, abilities, and personal experiences, which shape how individuals perceive themselves and their place in the world. It is the foundation upon which individuals develop a sense of continuity and coherence in their self-concept, providing a stable framework for understanding themselves and their experiences.

Application Areas

  • Identity Development: The concept of proprium is central to theories of identity development, such as Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory, which emphasizes the importance of establishing a coherent sense of self across the lifespan.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Therapists may explore clients' propria to gain insight into their self-concept, values, and goals, facilitating self-awareness, personal growth, and psychological well-being.
  • Organizational Psychology: Researchers and practitioners may examine how individuals' propria influence their behavior, motivation, and satisfaction within organizational settings, informing strategies for leadership development, team dynamics, and employee engagement.

Treatment and Risks

  • Treatment: Exploring and understanding one's proprium can be therapeutic, as it allows individuals to gain insight into their authentic selves, reconcile conflicting aspects of their identity, and cultivate a greater sense of coherence and fulfillment.
  • Risks: However, an excessive focus on the proprium without considering broader social and cultural influences may lead to a narrow or overly individualistic understanding of self, potentially hindering empathy, interpersonal relationships, and social connectedness.


  • A person reflects on their core values and beliefs, recognizing them as integral aspects of their proprium that guide their decisions and actions.
  • A therapist helps a client explore their proprium by examining their personal history, relationships, and life experiences, leading to greater self-understanding and acceptance.
  • An individual experiences a shift in their proprium as they undergo significant life changes, such as parenthood or career transitions, prompting them to reassess their priorities and goals.

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Self-concept
  • Self-identity
  • Ego
  • Core self
  • Personal identity


In psychology, proprium refers to the core aspect of an individual's self-identity, encompassing their values, beliefs, goals, desires, and personal experiences. Understanding one's proprium is essential for identity development, therapeutic interventions, and organizational psychology. While exploring the proprium can promote self-awareness and personal growth, it is crucial to recognize the risks of an overly individualistic focus and to consider broader social and cultural influences on identity formation.


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