Case Theoretical Analysis Of Wesley Autrey's Heroism

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Altruism is a form of selfless behavior that benefits others without benefiting the self. Even more extreme than altruism is heroism which is a form of altruism that requires a tremendous amount of sacrifice. In general, heroism (1) involves some type of quest , (2) some form of actual or anticipated sacrifice or risk, (3) can be passive or active, (4) can be one time or recurrent (Franco, 2011). The current essay analyzes Wesley Autrey 's heroism. The case description section briefly describes the case. The theoretical analysis section summarizes major theories which explain the causes of Autrey 's heroism. In the end, the current essay integrates these theories and provides a coherent analysis of Autrey 's behaviors. Case Description Wesley Autrey is an ordinary father who has two daughters and works as a construction worker, but something extraordinary happened on January 2, 2007. When…show more content…
When Autrey saw Peter suffering, Autrey also experiences pain. For example, Autrey believes that Peter would lose his limbs or even life if he does not save Peter. Such a depressing and horrifying thoughts and imageries might have led to Autrey 's own pain which subsequently generates helping behavior that relieves the pain. In addition, Autrey’s thought of Peter losing his limbs might simultaneously provoke the experiences of a more selfless concern for the victim. For example, the thought of Peter losing his life might have prompted Autrey to imagine Peter 's disabled life after losing his limbs. As a result, Autrey helped Peter because Autrey does not want Peter to lead a miserable and disabled life. In addition, both personal distress and empathic concern might interact with each other. In other words, personal distress might enhance empathic concern, and vice versa. In short, the interaction between personal distress and emphatic concern together triggers Autrey 's

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