Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology

Advisor

Pury, Cindy

Committee Member

Starkey , Charles

Committee Member

Rosopa , Patrick

Abstract

Courage - despite millennia of contemplation - is only now seeing efforts at empirical study and definition. Recent studies have attempted to break down the component parts of courage, but do not address why courage appears to only be bestowed on others and rarely to oneself: a phenomenon known as courage blindness (Biswas-Deiner, 2012). This paper examines how individuals attribute courage to themselves and how they attribute it to others. Male military personnel (n =86) and male college students (n =106) read 14 scenarios of varying courage, rating the courageousness of themselves or another person based on the action. Multiple ANOVAs were conducted for scenario courage ratings based on attribution perspective, military involvement, courage type, risk level, and nobility level; correlations with humility, locus of control and social desirability were also conducted. Results showed increased courage ratings when reporting for others rather than self, and lower ratings by military servicemen as compared to civilians. This indicates support for a courage blindness effect as well as a professional attitude separating military and civilian perceptions of courage.

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Psychology Commons

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