PANGEA Lab Awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grant

PANGEA lab was awarded the SSHRC Insight Development Grant. In the next two years, the lab will study the dark sides of courage.

This research will examine the role of courage – defined as overriding one’s fear to act towards an important and worthy goal – which has been nearuniversally praised, celebrated, and desired since antiquity. However, this may not be the whole story. The present project theoretically proposes that courage has at least 2 dark sides: 1) unvirtuous courage–that is courageous action toward a goal that seems worthy to the actor but is seen as ignoble by most observers (e.g., terrorism) and 2) reckless risktaking – that is a learned generalised tendency to ignore fear and take risks even if they do not serve a worthy goal (e.g., social exposure during Covid19).

Highlighting the dark sides of courage and their multifaceted imprint on people and the places they live in may not only advance discourse in psychology, neighbouring disciplines (e.g., philosophy, sociology, public health) and the public sphere, but also make us revisit intervention designs and cultural practices–such as parenting–to ensure that promoting the virtue of bravery does not accidentally encourage harmful risktaking.