Heroism: A Conceptual Analysis and Differentiation between Heroic Action and Altruism

  title={Heroism: A Conceptual Analysis and Differentiation between Heroic Action and Altruism},
  author={Zeno Franco and Kathy Blau and P. Zimbardo},
  journal={Review of General Psychology},
  pages={113 - 99}
Heroism represents the ideal of citizens transforming civic virtue into the highest form of civic action, accepting either physical peril or social sacrifice. While implicit theories of heroism abound, surprisingly little theoretical or empirical work has been done to better understand the phenomenon. Toward this goal, we summarize our efforts to systematically develop a taxonomy of heroic subtypes as a starting point for theory building. Next we explore three apparent paradoxes that surround… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Paper Mentions

Heroism Research: A Review of Theories, Methods, Challenges, and Trends
Heroism as an expression of self-actualization and a pinnacle social state is of fundamental interest to humanistic psychology and the field more broadly. This review places the growing discussion onExpand
What Makes a Hero? Theorising the Social Structuring of Heroism
The article discusses four dominant perspectives in the sociology of heroism: the study of great men; hero stories; heroic actions; and hero institutions. The discussion ties together heroism andExpand
Hero Versus Saint: Considerations From the Phenomenology of Embodiment
This article contributes to the conceptual clarification of “heroism” as the central idea of “heroism science,” by outlining an approach to heroic action, in its distinction from “moral saintliness,”Expand
On the Downside of Heroism: Grey Zone Limitations on the Value of Social and Physical Risk Heroism
Implicit lay views of heroes are overwhelmingly positive and do not focus on the potential problems that may result from heroic behavior. Similarly, a rarely challenged assumption of heroism researchExpand
Reimagining Heroism: A Conceptual Analysis Through Antigone and Medea
The definition of heroism is contested within the psychological literature, with some suggesting that a formal definition is unfeasible. Following these suggestions, to help clarify what isExpand
The politics of heroes through the prism of popular heroism
In modern day Britain, the discourse of national heroification is routinely utilised by politicians, educationalists and cultural industry professionals, whilst also being a popular concept toExpand
Heroism and Risk of Harm
Although the positive traits and qualities that compose heroism such as courage, bravery and empathy have received research support, little experimental research has directly investigated theExpand
Angels everywhere? How beliefs in pure evil and pure good predict perceptions of heroic behavior
Abstract We examined the effects of belief in pure evil (BPE) and belief in pure good (BPG) on perceptions and evaluations of a stereotypically altruistic (vs. egoistic) hero who apprehended aExpand
Scholarly Heroism: A Transdisciplinary Perspective on David Bohm’s Transformative Scholarship and Intellectual Exile:
In this article, I claim that the best scholars—individuals who achieve the most important advances or breakthroughs in knowledge and understanding—are often heroic. I argue that David BohmExpand
Attributes and Applications of Heroes: A Brief History of Lay and Academic Perspectives
Research on heroism typically seems fascinating to people in everyday life: they ask insightful and interesting questions about the research, offer their personal reflections on heroes, and sometimesExpand


Is His Heroism Hailed and Hers Hidden? Women, Men, and The Social Construction of Heroism
Two studies examined how the social construction of heroism affects the representation of women and men as heroes. In the first study, community participants defined heroism or identified heroes.Expand
Comparing the heroism of women and men.
Comments on "Definitions and Omissions of Heroism" by Jeffery W. Martens are presented, which is a comment on the original article "The Heroism of Women and Men" by Selwyn W. Becker and Alice H. Eagly. Expand
Varieties of moral personality: beyond the banality of heroism.
Four perspectives dominate thinking about moral heroism: One contends that moral action is primarily instigated by situational pressures, another holds that moral excellence entails the fullExpand
Counterfeit courage: Toward a process psychology paradigm for the “Heroic rescue fantasy”
On the basis largely of interview data, this article outlines a working model for a process psychology paradigm for the heroic rescue fantasy and contrasts a prototypi-cal sequence therefore withExpand
Courage, Heroism, and the Postmodern Paradox
issue in order to write about the concept of heroism in antiquity, or C. G. Jung's for that matter, let alone analyze the theme of heroism as treated in the speeches of George W. Bush or hisExpand
The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History
"Remarkably ambitious . . . an impressive tour de force." --Washington Post Book WorldFor Alexander the Great, fame meant accomplishing what no mortal had ever accomplished before. For Julius Caesar,Expand
The heroism of women and men.
The authors examine heroism by women and men in 2 extremely dangerous settings: the emergency situations in which Carnegie medalists rescued others and the holocaust in which some non-Jews risked their lives to rescue Jews. Expand
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Joseph Campbell's classic cross-cultural study of the hero's journey has inspired millions and opened up new areas of research and exploration. Originally published in 1949, the book hit the New YorkExpand
On the Trail of Courageous Behavior
This article is an examination of courageous behavior as manifested in the activities of American whistleblowers and environmental activists in the United States, Israel, and the formerExpand
Heroes, villains and fools, as agents of social control.
SOCIAL types comprise a relatively unappreciated field of popular culture. Though certain ones have been intensively studied from special points of view and the role of stereotypes has been longExpand