Fostering the Heroic Imagination: An Ancient Ideal and a Modern Vision

Kathy Blau, along with Zeno Franco and Phil Zimbardo, has just published an article in the “Eye on Psi Chi” magazine.  It’s a summary of the recent thinking and research done by the Heroic Imagination Project people – of which, I am one.

You can read the article by clicking here or download it as a pdf by clicking Eye on Psi Chi article.

In summary, from the article: We are encouraging both new research on the psychology of heroism and new curricular for schools, camps, organizations, and businesses that introduce, expand, and give new vitality to the concept that any one of us can act heroically when the time comes.

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3 Responses to Fostering the Heroic Imagination: An Ancient Ideal and a Modern Vision

  1. Anonymous March 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    Well Matt,

    The research described in this article for Psi Chi would not have been possible without your help.

    Best,

    Zeno

  2. Katie March 29, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    Thanks for sharing that really interesting article. Awesome props to your amazing program in there!

    I am currently doing a unit on historical fiction with 8th graders and empathy is one of the overarching themes. I wonder how this ties in with the heroic imagination. Do you think empathy is necessary for the heroic imagination or heroic behavior in general?

    I have been thinking about the skills required to teach empathy since reading an article arguing for doing just that. Currently a lot of my students are finding it hard to empathize with characters in their novels and thus in the essays they are writing they are arguing that they aren’t empathetic people.

    I’d love to hear what ideas you have for fostering the heroic imagination in teens and if you have thoughts on empathy. Ta!

  3. Matt Langdon March 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Thanks Katie.

    Zeno talked to me about your topic. Empathy is not important to heroism. Rather than what traditionally is considered altruism plus risk, heroism is actually a reaction to something that disagrees with your internal compass. So, rather than running into a burning building and saving someone to help them, you’re doing it because your internal character values are telling you that you need to.