Category Archives: Our latest books on HEROIC LEADERS

The Encyclopedia of Heroism and Villainy

Composed and compiled by students at the University of Richmond, The Encyclopedia of Heroism and Villainy represents the first scholarly effort to consolidate our vast and growing understanding of good and evil people, principles, and theories, in one large volume.

The Encyclopedia of Heroism and Villainy consists of three sections on heroism, anti-heroism, and villainy. The Encyclopedia is currently in production and is tentatively scheduled for release in the Spring of 2022.

Here are the opening paragraphs of some sample entries in the Encyclopedia:

Banality of Evil

The Banality of Evil is the theory that under certain conditions and social pressures, ordinary people are capable of performing actions that would otherwise be unthinkable (Franco & Zimbardo, 2006). This principle is most notably demonstrated in the Stanford Prison experiment, conducted by Philip Zimbardo in 1971. Participants assigned the role of guards behaved inhumanely but would not behaved that way in real life. The powerful role of situational forces impelled guard participants to act differently than they otherwise would have. Thus the line between good and evil is permeable (Franco & Zimbardo, 2006)……

Shrek

Shrek is animated cartoon character, portrayed as a towering, green ogre (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2011). Shrek starts out as a grumpy recluse, who lives alone in his swamp. When his swamp is suddenly overtaken by creatures, by orders of Lord Farquaad, Shrek must rescue Princess Fiona from a dragon’s lair in exchange for his swamp back. Shrek leaves his swamp to embark on a journey to the dragon’s lair, with the help of his companion, Donkey. Shrek successfully fends off the dragon and rescues Princess Fiona from the tower. After spending time with Fiona on their journey back to Lord Farquaad, Shrek begins to care for Fiona, revealing his kind, caring demeanor despite his deceivingly scary appearance.

Shrek is a hero for many reasons. Firstly, Shrek engages in heroic transformation by going through the hero’s journey (Allison et al., 2019). Secondly, Shrek goes through the hero’s journey in a new, unknown setting, which is crucial for initiating any kind of heroic transformation or change in the person (Allison et al., 2019). Additionally, Shrek took an enormous risk to his own safety by saving Princess Fiona from the dragon, which is a characteristic of a hero (Rhoda, 2019). Lastly, despite Shrek’s crude appearance, heroism and heroes can take more than one form (Jayawickreme & Di Stefano, 2012)….

The Great Eight Traits of Heroes

“The Great Eight” is a set of traits believed to be found in the majority of heroes. These traits are as follows: smart, strong, resilient, selfless, caring, charismatic, reliable, and inspiring (Allison & Goethals, 2011). It is unusual for a hero to have all of these characteristics, but most heroes have the majority of The Great Eight. These traits were identified after researching the preferences of over 100 participants in a study….

Stanford Prison Experiment 

The Stanford Prison Experiment is a social psychology study in which Stanford University students were randomly assigned to the role of either prisoners or guards in a simulated prison environment. The experiment took place in 1971 at Stanford University and was conducted by Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues. The experiment was intended to run for two weeks, but it was terminated after six days. On day two, after the prisoner participants staged a rebellion, the guard participants began inhumanely punishing the prisoners. Prisoners quickly became depressed and traumatized; three participants asked to be released within four days. The guards became merciless and violent, to the point where the study had to be terminated due to the physical risk it posed to the participants (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017). This study demonstrated the idea of the Banality of Evil, which is the theory that…. and biographical examples of heroes, anti-heroes, and villains.

The Romance of Heroism

In this book, heroism experts George R. Goethals and Scott T. Allison explore how the romantic conception of heroes is constructed, both in real life and in our heads.

Here is an excerpt from the Introductory chapter:

We adopt an approach that we call the romance of heroes.  Merriam-Webster defines romance as an emotional attraction, or special quality or feeling that comes from a person, place, or thing.  The verb form of romance is to exaggerate or invent detail.  This book explores these processes as they operate in our human perception of heroism.  We assume that people are motivated to actively construct reality from incomplete information.  There is a long history of theory and research in social perception and social cognition to support this idea.” 

“We also assume, based on our own research, that people are motivated to have heroes (Allison & Goethals, 2011).  Our contention in this book is that our love of heroes is so strong that we could call it a romantic longing.  Merriam-Webster reminds us that this longing is a strong emotional attraction that may cause mental exaggeration or invention.  Our desire and drive to designate people as heroes may be subject to distortion and to motivated perception under conditions of uncertainty.  We’ll also explore how this tendency to exaggerate or invent in response to strong motives can contribute to our construction of villains as well as heroes.”

Looking at the dichotomy of heroism and villainy, the authors offer insights into Donald Trump’s ascension to the US presidency, particularly detailing the correspondence between the needs of the US public and the promises the former reality TV star made in reply.

Goethals and Allison also consider how three highly charismatic men dramatically and fundamentally changed American society in the mid-20th century — Martin Luther King, Jr., Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali, called here The Three Kings.

This exciting and innovative book explores how charisma and human needs create romantic images of individuals as heroes and villains. For researchers and students of psychology and leadership, this is a fundamental text on the creation of both genuine heroes and false idols.

This book is now available for purchase at Amazon.com.

 

Heroic Transformation: How Heroes Change Themselves and The World

The human journey is brimming with opportunities for growth and development. This volume, crafted superbly by a talented group of young student-scholars at the University of Richmond, explores the myriad ways that human beings have evolved to become extraordinary heroes.

There are two types of heroic transformation. The first type refers to the process by which people undergo the significant change and growth necessary to become heroes. This transformation is a personal metamorphosis that often results from setback, transgression, and suffering.

The second type of heroic transformation refers to the hero’s ability to transform society. Once personally transformed, the hero is in a position to make her mark on society. “Transformed people transform people,” as Richard Rohr has said.

Most hero journeys feature both of these types of transformations. The heroes profiled in this book who have undergone heroic transformations include Audrey Hepburn, Susan B. Anthony, Thurgood Marshall, Muhammad Ali, Eleanor Roosevelt, Daenerys Targaryen, Dexter Morgan, Frodo Baggins, Bruce Wayne, and many more.

This book is now available at Amazon.com.

“YOU’LL BE TRANSFORMED AFTER ABSORBING HOW THESE HEROES TRANSFORMED HUMANITY.” – Professor Robert A. Giacalone, John Carroll University

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Heroic Transformation: How Heroes Change Themselves and The World
Edited by Scott T. Allison

Foreword

Olivia Efthimiou

Introduction

The Metamorphosis of the Hero: What it is, How it Happens, Why it’s Important

Scott T. Allison

FICTIONAL HEROES

Film and Television Heroes

Chapter 1. From Little Princess to Mother of Dragons: Daenerys Targaryen’s Heroine’s Journey

Hallie M. Whiting

Chapter 2. Elle Woods and the Hero’s Journey: What, Like, It’s Hard?

Reghan J. Ruf

Chapter 3. James “Sawyer” Ford: The Man Who Had to Become Lost to Find the Hero Within

Leo S. Troik

Chapter 4. “Let’s Get Down to Business”: A Handbook of Heroic Transformation in Mulan

Yun-Oh Park

 Chapter 5. Jack Bauer: The Heroic Transformation of the Ultimate Moral Rebel

Ethan Libo

Chapter 6. The Heroic Transformation of Dexter Morgan, Killer of Killers

S. S. Diaz

Heroes in Epic Novels and Stories

Chapter 7. How Frodo Baggins Became a Hero: An Analysis of a Hobbit’s Heroic Transformation

Lee M. Tyler

Chapter 8. Bruce Wayne’s Heroic Journey: The Everlasting Quest for Justice

Michael D. Loughran

Chapter 9. Batman’s Remarkable Hero’s Journey: The Dark Knight Trilogy

Declan H. Scanlon

Chapter 10. Harry Potter and the Hero’s Journey: An Analysis of a Wizard’s Transformation

Andrew J. Graham

Chapter 11. The Quintessential Greek Hero: How Odysseus Fits the Campbellian Monomyth

Julia M. Feron

Chapter 12. Sectumsempra: An Analysis of the Heroic Transformation of Severus Snape

Jake C. Cardwell

Chapter 13. The Heroic Transformative Journey of Aeneas, Hero of the Trojan War

Antonio M. Balducci

NON-FICTIONAL HEROES

Civil Rights Heroes

Chapter 14. A Dream Becoming Reality: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Calling to Transform America

Daniel P. Golden

Chapter 15. Malala Yousafzai: How One Girl’s Heroic Transformation Forever Changed the World

Alexandra M. Maloney

Chapter 16. The Girl that Broke the Mold: Malala’s Inspired Heroic Transformation

William A. Delaney

Chapter 17. Thurgood Marshall: A Heroic Influence on The American Justice System

Jennifer L. Kramer

Chapter 18. A Catalyst for Change: How Susan B. Anthony’s Heroic Transformation Revolutionized Society

Megan G. Doran

Entertainment Heroes

Chapter 19. Muhammad Ali: Hands of Stone, Heart of Gold

Evan B. Shine

 Chapter 20. Alex Morgan: The Hero Who Changed the Soccer World

Emily R. Wigg

Chapter 21. The Heroic Transformation of an Entire Team: How the Swedish Women’s National Soccer Team Followed the Hero’s Journey

Olivia Sjoedin

Chapter 22. The Gates to Baseball: Jackie Robinson’s Courageous Transformation of an Entire Sport

Dustin J. Cook

Chapter 23. The Hat Trick Heard Round the World: Carli Lloyd’s Journey from Average to Best in the World

Cassidy N. Bennetti

 Chapter 24. Elisabeth Shue’s Heroic Transformation, as Told Through Gracie

Sydney R. Shah

Chapter 25. Audrey Hepburn: How a Misfortunate Girl Transformed into a Social Hero

Thomas J Michel

Legendary Heroes

 Chapter 26. The Heroism of Siddhartha: A Journey to Enlightenment

Isabel R. Nonemaker

Chapter 27. Desmond Doss: The Transformation of the Hero of Hacksaw Ridge

Mark D. White

Chapter 28. Sully Sullenberger: An Inspiring Tale of Two Heroic Transformations

Kara E. Cromwell

Chapter 29. Eleanor Roosevelt’s Heroic and Transcendent Role as First Lady

Joann Chongsaritsinsuk

Chapter 30. “This was a man”: Julius Caesar’s Sociocentric Transformation as a Hero

Jack R. Bergstrom

Chapter 31. The List That Saved a Thousand Lives: Oskar Schindler’s Heroic Transformation During World War II

Allyson S. Maner

 

 

Heroes and Villains of the Millennial Generation

FRONT_finalThis book explores the heroes and villains of an entire generation of Americans — the Millennial generation, defined as people born between 1982 and 2000.

Authored by Millennial students at the University of Richmond, Heroes and Villains of the Millennial Generation is based on a survey of 215 Millennials across the United States who were asked to list their heroes, and their villains.

To our surprise, a large number of people were listed as both heroes and villains.

These complex individuals are the focus of this book. They are: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, parents, teachers, Edward Snowden, Batman, Mother Teresa, Severus Snape, and Mark Zuckerberg.

The questions that interested us were:

  • In what ways are these individuals heroes?
  • In what ways are they also villains?
  • Why did these individuals appear on lists of heroes and also on lists of villains?
  • What psychological processes are involved in perceptions of good and evil?

Heroes and Villains of the Millennial Generation provides an analysis of Millennials’ views of heroism and villainy, drawing from current research on heroism science. The book is now on sale at Amazon.

“A compelling analysis of the heroic values of an entire generation.”
– Professor Robert A. Giacalone, Ray Smiley Chair in Business Ethics and Director of the Ginn Institute for Social Responsibility at John Carroll University.

Here is the Table of Contents:

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Heroes and Villains of the Millennial Generation

Edited by Scott T. Allison

Foreword

Brian R. Riches, Claremont Graduate University

Introduction

Chapter 1. Millennials, Heroism, and Villainy: A Confluence of Generational Moral Complexity

Scott T. Allison, University of Richmond

Part I

Entertainers

Chapter 2. Sacrificial Heroism: Media Martyrdom for Inspiration from Kanye West

Matt B. Vandini, University of Richmond

Chapter 3. The Queen of Redemption: Kim Kardashian From Sex Tape to Female Idol

Kana V. Rolett, University of Richmond

 

Part II

Fictional Characters

Chapter 4. Batman as Caped Crusader: Gotham’s Savior or Undoing?

Alyssa Lynn Ross, University of Richmond

Chapter 5. Turn to Page 364: Deconstructing the Complex Heroism of Severus Snape

Madison M. Lawrence, University of Richmond

Part III

Nurturers

Chapter 6. Unconditional Love and Evil Stepmothers: How Parents are Heroes and Villains

Rebecca M. Fischer, University of Richmond

Chapter 7. Do or do not, there is no try: Is your Teacher a Yoda or a Darth Sidious?

R. B. Forsyth, University of Richmond

Part IV

Politicians

Chapter 8. Hillary Clinton: A Controversial Lady of Firsts

Rebecca L. Nguyen, University of Richmond

Chapter 9. Donald Trump: Man of Charisma, Man of Insults

Sandy Yu, University of Richmond

Part V

Social Changers

Chapter 10. Mark Zuckerberg: Social Connector or Privacy Violator?

Zihao Liu, University of Richmond

Chapter 11. Mother Teresa’s Empire of Charity

Stephanie M. Ha , University of Richmond

Chapter 12. The Whistleblowing of Edward Snowden: Heroic Self-Sacrifice or Villainous Betrayal?

Arianna M. Guillard, University of Richmond

FRONT_final

BACK_final

 

 

 

Heroic Humility: What the Science of Humility Can Say to People Raised on Self-Focus

To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.

        —Charles de Montesquieu

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

        —Philippians 2:3–4

 

In this age of selfies and corporate scandals, the need for humility is pressing. This book entitled HEROIC HUMILITY offers a synthesis of research and theory on humility and heroism. It articulates a vision of heroic humility — humility of such great depth that it inspires others.

Humility has three parts: an honest self-appraisal (including an attitude that one is teachable), modest self-presentation, and an orientation to build others up and not put them down. Moreover, humility can be learned. People who embody heroic humility not only rise to moments of great humility, but practice it and emerge from frequent tests of their humility throughout life.

Thus, this book likens the formation of a humble character to a hero’s journey, with a “call,” a journey through challenges and temptations, a descent into one or more abysses, and a redemption.

With an impressive array of examples—such as Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, and Abraham Lincoln — the book illustrates that no two heroes’ journeys are identical. Readers are challenged to embark on their own journey of heroic humility in their work, service, and personal lives.

Heroic Humility is authored by Everett L. Worthington, Jr., and Scott T. Allison. It will be published by the American Psychological Association, and is now available for purchase.

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Leadership and Sexuality: Power, Principles, and Processes

 By James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison

The focus of this new book is on how power, principles, and processes influence the way that sexuality exerts an influence on leadership and followership.

This book asks two questions: Why do unarguably intelligent and successful leaders put themselves into situations in which their sexuality will lead to their downfall?

And why are we, as members of the constituency, continually surprised by these revelations? Shouldn’t we expect it by now?

Although the question of why rich and powerful men (we are not being sexist here; it is more often men than women) risk their careers by engaging in illicit sexual activity is an interesting one, we suggest that the connection between leadership and sexuality is much more important, complex, and broad than the phenomenon of a sex scandal.

Sexual leadership can be viewed as operating at both macro- and micro-levels. Issues related to sexual leadership come into play when a nation decides in favor or against an abstinence-only policy with regard to sexual education, the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage, or a husband and wife decide whether to try a new sexual position.

Sexual leadership also comes into play in grey and black markets. What leadership dynamics are involved in recruiting, motivating, and managing women who work as strippers, or as prostitutes? The purpose of this edited volume is to explore the largely ignored relationship between sexuality and leadership.

Leadership and Sexuality is published by Elgar and is now available for purchase.

Table of Contents

Introduction — Sexuality in Leadership: A Long-Neglected Topic with Vast Implications for Individuals and Society

James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison

SECTION 1: Sexual Leaders

Chapter 1 — Playboy, Icon, Leader: Hugh Hefner and Postwar American Sexual Culture

Carrie Pitzulo

Chapter 2 — Planned Parenthood: 100 Years of Leadership and Controversy

Sheila Huss, Lucy Dwight, and Angela Gover

Chapter 3

Leadership and the Free the Nipple Movement: An Autoethnographic Case Study

James K. Beggan

SECTION 2: Leadership and Sexuality

Chapter 4

A Failure of Courageous Leadership: Sex, Embarrassment, and (Not) Speaking Up in the Penn State Sexual Abuse Scandal

Jeremy Fyke, Bree Trisler, and Kristen Lucas

Chapter 5

Because They Can:  Adult to Student Sexual Abuse in PreK-12 Schools

Charol Shakeshaft

Chapter 6

Heterosexism in Organizations: The Importance of Transformational and Heroic Leadership

Shaun Pichler

Chapter 7

Leadership in Strip Clubs

Maggie B. Stone

Chapter 8

Training Religious Leaders in Sexually-Related Issues

William R. Stayton

SECTION 3: The Sexuality of Leaders

 Chapter 9

 “Stupid is as Stupid Does” or Good Bayesian? A Sympathetic and Contrarian Analysis  of Bill Clinton’s Decision to Have an Affair with Monica Lewinsky

 James K. Beggan

 Chapter 10

 Leading and Following? Understanding the Power Dynamics in Consensual BDSM

Emma Turley

Chapter 11

Does the “Zipless Dance” Exist? Leadership, Followership, and Sexuality in Social Dancing

James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison

Chapter 12

Heroic Leadership in The Walking Dead’s Post-Apocalyptic Universe: The Restoration and Regeneration of Society as a Hero Organism

Scott T. Allison and Olivia Efthimiou

References

Allison, S. T., Goethals, G. R., & Kramer, R. M. (Eds.) (2017). Handbook of heroism and heroic leadership. New York: Routledge.

Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2016). Hero worship: The elevation of the human spirit. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 46, 187-210.

Allison, S. T. (2015). The initiation of heroism science. Heroism Science, 1, 1-8.

Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2014). “Now he belongs to the ages”: The heroic leadership dynamic and deep narratives of greatness. In Goethals, G. R., et al. (Eds.), Conceptions of leadership: Enduring ideas and emerging insights. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137472038.0011

Beggan, J. K., & Harbison, J. M. (2007). Sex. In M. Flood, J. K. Gardiner, B. Pease, & K. Pringle (Eds.). Routledge international encyclopedia of men and masculinities. Oxford: Routledge.

Beggan, J. K., Vencill, J. A., & Garos, S. (2013). The good-in-bed effect: College students’ tendency to see themselves as better than others as a sex partner. Journal of Psychology, 147, 415-134.

Goethals, G. R., Allison, S. T., Kramer, R., & Messick, D. (Eds.) (2014). Conceptions of leadership: Enduring ideas and emerging insights. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137472038

Allison, S. T., & Goethals, G. R. (2011). Heroes: What they do and why we need them. New York: Oxford University Press.