Perceptions of Courage: An In-depth Examination of Lay People's Attributions toward Courage

İbrahim Sani Mert


This qualitative study aims to investigate the traits and factors influencing how 155 people in Türkiye perceive courage by relying on the Lay Theory of Courage. Data were gathered by asking participants to name the most courageous person they know and describe why they perceive that person as courageous. The collected data underwent content analysis. The results revealed that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, was the most frequently cited person as the most courageous, followed by family members, public figures, historical figures, self, generalizations (general figures), and acquaintances, respectively. Atatürk's courageous personality drove historic change, marked by unwavering commitment, remarkable achievements, and exceptional bravery. Participants view family members as courageous for various reasons, including resilience, sacrifice, moral choices, and pursuing dreams. Additionally, those who selected themselves as the most courageous do so because they confidently pursue their goals, make fearless decisions, and stand up to superiors in a system where self-reliance is essential. The study's findings provide insights into how courage is perceived in Turkish society and shed light on its symbolic meaning.


Courage, Perception of Courage, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Türkiye

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