The psychological investigation of heroism is relatively new. At this stage, inductive methods can shed light on its main aspects. Therefore, we examined the social representations of Hero and Everyday Hero by collecting word associations from two separate representative samples in Hungary. We constructed two networks from these word associations. The results show that the social representation of Hero is more centralized and it cannot be divided into smaller units. The network of Everyday Hero is divided into five units and the significance moves from abstract hero characteristics to concrete social roles and occupations exhibiting pro-social values. We also created networks from the common associations of Hero and Everyday Hero. The structures of these networks show a moderate similarity and the connections are more balanced in case of Everyday Hero. While heroism in general can be the source of inspiration, the promotion of everyday heroism can be more successful in encouraging ordinary people to recognize their own potential for heroic behavior.
Keczer, Z., File, B., Orosz, G., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2016). Social representations of hero and everyday hero: A network study from representative samples. PLoS ONE, 11(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159354