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Oxford University Press, USA
Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them

Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them

by Scott T. Allison, George R. Goethals


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Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them

Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, Rick in Casablanca—why do we perceive certain people as heroes? What qualities do we see in them? What must they do to win our admiration? In Heroes, Scott T. Allison and George R. Goethals offer a stimulating tour of the psychology of heroism, shedding light on what heroism and villainy mean to most people and why heroes—both real people and fictional characters—are so vital to our lives. The book discusses a broad range of heroes, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino, Senator Ted Kennedy, and explorer Ernest Shackleton, plus villains such as Shakespeare's Iago. The authors highlight the Great Eight traits of heroes (smart, strong, selfless, caring, charismatic, resilient, reliable, and inspiring) and outline the mental models that we have of how people become heroes, from the underdog who defies great odds (David vs. Goliath) to the heroes who redeem themselves or who overcome adversity. Brimming with psychological insight, Heroes provides an illuminating look at heroes—and into our own minds as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199739745
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 10/29/2010
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Scott T. Allison is Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond.

George R. Goethals holds the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Heroes: Who They Are and What They Do [example: Eleanor Roosevelt]
Chapter 2: Exemplars: How We Think and Feel About Heroes [example: Randle Patrick McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]
Chapter 3: Redemption: Doing the Right Thing [example: Lincoln, re emancipation]
Chapter 4: Obstacles: Triumph Over Adversity [example: Ernest Shackleton]
Chapter 5: Evil: For Every Hero There is a Villain [example: Iago]
Chapter 6: Shaping: How Heroes and Villains Shape Us, and How We Shape Them [example: James Dean]
Chapter 7: Conclusions

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