A hero is generally understood to be a person who is admired or idealised for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities—often scripted to ‘save the day’ in storytelling and to possess supernatural powers.
When we look to Hollywood, we can see that in critical or life-changing situations, it is more likely that hopeful, productive, resilient, and optimistic characters will become the Hero, swooping in to claim victory.
Heroes can be found in our everyday lives too, and there has been robust research surrounding the concept. With a positive psychology lens, we understand which psychological components allow a person to have these hero-like qualities. In other words, what makes a Hero tick?
Psychological Capital is defined as “an individual’s positive psychological state of development, characterised by high levels of Hope, (Self) Efficacy, Resilience and Optimism.” – (Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007)