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Journal Article


Eagly AH, Becker SW. Am. Psychol. 2005; 60(4): 343-344.


(Copyright © 2005, American Psychological Association)






This article presents comments on "Definitions and Omissions of Heroism" by Jeffery W. Martens which is a comment on the original article "The Heroism of Women and Men" by Selwyn W. Becker and Alice H. Eagly. Becker and Eagly welcome the opportunity to discuss the questions about defining heroism that Martens raised in his comment on their article. One of his questions is whether our operational definition of heroism is consistent with our conceptual definition. Conceptually, we defined heroism as voluntarily risking physical injury or death in the service of one or more other people. Operationally, we examined archival data from real-life situations in which people voluntarily assumed such risks in the service of others. To reach our goal of comparing heroic behavior in women and men, we obtained archival data only from settings populated by both sexes. The second reason that we eliminated heroism in paid occupational roles is that our specific purpose of studying whether women as well as men behave heroically made it illogical to include these roles. The authors also state they did not study heroes who pursued ideas and causes because it was difficult to study both sexes equally within prominent leadership roles. They also discuss stereotypes, social constructs of heroism as well as future research that would further our knowledge.

Language: en


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