The Image Of A Hero And A Patriot: A Psycholinguistic Aspect


The article describes the procedure and results of studying the images of the hero and the patriot with the cinquain method. The capacity of the cinquain for studying of language personality, revealing her representation of the heroic and patriotic is shown. The distribution of lexical efficiency on each line of the cinquain in both studied images is the identical: the description prevails (in detrimentally) by using the nouns, adjectives and verbs. Meanwhile, the image of the hero is easier to describe, it generates more lexical units than the patriots image (829 vs. 585). In addition to quantitative discrepancies, there are significant differences in the psychological content of the hero and patriot images which are identified using the cinquain method. They concern their very personal nature, basic characteristics and activities. In the characteristics of a hero, activity and effectiveness prevail, either it is a heroic striving for spiritual culture, personal passion, or the search for truth and justice. True heroism is accompanied by the ideas of good, perfection, ideal, valor. A hero who overcomes his fear and conquers the terrible evokes feelings of admiration and worship. The image of the Motherland, love for it a feat for the sake of its well-being are often mentioned as the main characteristics of a patriot and a person appears as a citizen and protector. The image of a hero is more attractive than the image of a patriot.

Keywords: Patriotherocinquain methodlinguistic personality


The present-day realities make us think of the difficult questions such as the activity of an individual, their heroic and patriotic attitudes. Historically, a person is brought up with the images of heroes, the heroism of previous generations. Consciously or not, millions of people correlated and still correlate themselves with heroism, and a European tradition without the heroic is unthinkable in general. Heroism specifies a structured picture of the world and the persons place it is rooted in the depths of spiritual life and at the same time heroism structures an extremely concrete reality of actions. Equal significance is found out in the phenomenon of patriotism. To date, philosophical, pedagogical, sociocultural, spiritual-religious, personality-humanistic, and emotional-sensual approaches to its study have been shaped. Researchers are attracted by the personality of a patriot, group phenomenology and attitudes of patriotism.

Problem Statement

However, patriotism as a social phenomenon is perceived differently by the youth. The situation is complicated by the fact that patriotic representations are often overlapped and mixed with heroic vocabulary. In view of the foregoing, it is useful to identify the lexical and meaningful differences of the image of a "patriot" and "hero" in the perception by the young people. Consequently, the study of the problems of patriotism should be directed to identifying the perception of the key characteristics of patriotism and heroism by the youth, establishing the similarities and differences in these concepts and phenomena, building the structural and substantive form of them based on a categorical differentiation.

Therefore, the identification of the specifics of existing ideas is possible only in a comparative study, which requires a comparison of the obtained data based on the responses of the young people in relation to these two concepts. As part of such a dual-directed study, identification of the group representations and perceptions of an image of a patriot and a hero will allow defining the main characteristics of the studied concepts and their phenomenological manifestations, which will expand the area of the discussion of their features and development.

Research Questions

Are the concepts of these images identical? Are there any significant differences? Is the direction of the actions of a hero and patriot equal? What kind of vocabulary does correspond to the descriptions of the image of a hero and a patriot?

Purpose of the Study

The main scientific aim of the research is connected with the determination of the main characteristics and specificity of perception and description of the images of a patriot and a hero, with a meaningful reflection of them in the vocabulary of the Russian students.

In this regard, let us proceed to the consideration of the made by us attempt of the empirical study of the ideas of the young respondents about an image of a patriot and a hero.

Research Methods

The main measuring tool is chosen the cinquain method (by Adelaide Crapsy), a five-line poetic form that has arisen under the influence of Japanese poetry, but quickly spreaded because of its substantial productivity as a diagnostic tool for collecting complex information. It is enough widely used as a method of cutting the assessment of conceptual and dictionary luggage of respondents (, the date of circulation is 24/03/2019).

Diagnostics using the cinquain method is based on the content and syntactic definition of each line. Since the strict observance of the writing rules of cinquain is not necessary, for the purposes of empirical research both the classical version, and its addition and extension were used.

The first line is usually a noun or pronoun (one or more), which denotes the object, phenomenon or object which will be referred

The second line – is most often adjectives or participles, describing the signs and properties of an object or a subject selected for a study.

The third line is formed by verbs or verbal participle describing the actions of the subject (or the actions with an object, phenomenon).

The fourth line is a phrase of four words expressing the personal attitude of the author of the cinquain to the described character, subject or object.

The fifth line is the final phrase characterizing the essence of the described character, subject or object. (, the date of circulation is 24/03/2019).

We have introduced one more additional line, represented by the phrase expressing the collective ideas of other people (the opinion of friends) about the chosen character, subject or object. Why has the cinquain method been chosen? The answer is connected with its corrective, diagnostic, analytical, informational and low-cost capabilities. It allows you to study the linguistic personality as a set of collective norms and social forms of behavior that are transmitted through the language.

The research organization and sample

The study was carried out in October-December 2018. The sample included young people, mainly bachelors and masters of the Russian State Humanitarian University and the Russian New University (Moscow). In total, 70 people were involved in the study, of which 57 females were female, 13 people were male respondents. The average age of respondents was 22 years.

For its conduct a probabilistic sampling strategy in the form of a random sampling was used. Since the choice of respondents was carried out from a large population, the clustering method (Goodwin, 2010) was used. The respondents were selected considering their age (from 19 to 30 years), belonging to the same social group - students (meaning students in universities). They are the urban residents, because all respondents lived in the urban areas at the time of the survey.

The answers of the respondents based on the synonymy were united in the same type of the lexical groups. For example, courage and bravery were considered as synonymous. The expanded phrase was defined as one counting unit. The total number of the received lexical units is 1414.


The obtained data is presented below in the tables № 1, 2, 3.

Table 1 -
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As we can see from the table. 1 , above all, the hero for the respondents is a positive image of a warrior and defender. He is “active”, “brave”, “kind”, “courageous”, “strong”. He is even found handsome. He is mainly connected with the following actions: “rescues”, “protects”, “helps”. The received answers emphasize his active character, the hero “creates,” “acts.” In a consolidated manner, he is presented as a "courageous man." In general, a hero is described in positive terms. Although there are some statements that emphasize that a hero is "a rare case", "a person who cannot be found on the street." Apparently, in the image of a hero his recognition is revealed from the films, fabulous and fantastic stories. There is a mention that this is a “fictional” character in the answers.

Above all, in the assessment of the external traits of the heroic outstanding in their social significance and demanding readiness for sacrifice from a person actions appear. In this vein, Carlyle (2012) described a hero as a deity, a prophet, a shepherd, and presented him in the images of a poet and writer. But there is not a single case of an indication of such characters in the obtained descriptions of the image of a hero. The most meaningful close image – is "knight".

Heroism is characterized by activity, effectiveness, whether it is a heroic aspiration to spiritual culture, personal passion, or the search for truth and justice. The heroic is a manifestation of a human philanthropy of a person who values human life most of all. True heroism is conjugated with ideas of good, perfection, ideal, valor. Overcoming fear and defeating the terrible by a hero are cause for a feeling of admiration and worship for him. Apparently, hence, there is such an active appeal to the merits of a hero.

In the women's answers, the hero appears more many-sided (more characteristics are used). Qualitative analysis shows that the informative description of the image of a hero is almost equally expressed in the obtained texts by both girls and boys.

Next, we are turning to the description of the image of a patriot by the respondents.

Table 2 -
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The description of a patriot, as we can see from the table 2 mainly appears as an association with the words “Motherland”, “devotion”, “feat”. The image of a patriot is the image of a citizen, leader and protector. He is “devoted,” “brave,” and “confident.” The patriot "defends", "loves" and "protects" his country. However, along with this, he seems to «speak» a lot. The image of a patriot looks positive in personal and collective opinions. But other shades are also noticeable. Young people write about the actions and the image of patriots not always in a flattering way. For example, one young man used the following nouns in the description of a patriot: “insincerity”, «directness», “stupidity”. He also added the following adjectives and participles: “doubtful,” “led,” “illegible.” He characterizes the actions of a patriot with verbs: “he follows the laws”, “defends”, “votes”. The situation with the image of a patriot appears to be less unequivocal than with the image of a hero.

In the responses of the men, a patriot is characterized by rather the same type (fewer characteristics are used) than in the responses of the women. Attitudes expressed in both group and individual opinion towards him are different. As well as those who respect patriots declaring themselves as patriots there are those who are indifferently perceiving them both among males and females. At the same time, representatives of both sexes assess positively the manifestations of the defense of the Motherland and its interests. Let us turn further to the psychological content of patriotism. Above all, it reflects in the mentality and behavior of its bearer, the patriotic man. This phenomenon is intentional in its nature and reflects the attitude to the country, ownership of its ancestors, parents, teachers, etc. On this side, patriotism manifests itself as an attitude towards life in a particular place and a specific time, as an act of unconditional acceptance of its citizenship, in particular. We note that we are talking about civil positioning, and not ethnic affiliation (by origin) (Schneider, 2015, 2016). In this regard, there is an image of the Motherland, love to it, a feat in the name of its well-being in the basic characteristics of a patriot and a person appears as a citizen and protector.

Comparison of the obtained results are presented in the table 3 .

Table 3 -
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As can be seen from table 3 the distribution of lexical productivity for each line of the cinquain as a whole in both studied images coincides. Meanwhile, the image of a hero is easier to describe, it generates more lexical units than the image of a patriot. But besides quantitative discrepancies, there are significant differences in the psychological content of a hero and a patriot the images which were identified using the cinquain method. They are reflected in table 4 .

Table 4 -
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As we can see there are much more differences than the things in common in the image of a hero and a patriot. Perhaps, the most significant thing is that you cannot first become a hero, and then a patriot. But it is possible on the contrary.


Thus, all the thoughts, ideas and concepts of an individual about his Ego, as well as about the outside world, his intellect and hierarchy of values are embodied in the language through which the individual constantly systematizes their experience and their view of the world (Karaulov, 2014; Rublik, 2007). Using the cinquain method it is possible to study the linguistic personality, to reveal its ideas about the heroic and patriotic things. The study allows us to conclude that here are more quantitative and qualitative differences than similarities in the images of a patriot and a hero. Despite their content proximity, the image of a hero is more attractive and easier to describe.


The authors thank the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), with the support of which this project (№18-513-00003 Bel_a) was carried.


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14 July 2019

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Psychology, educational psychology, counseling psychology

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Schneider*, L., Egorov, I., & Smirnikova, O. (2019). The Image Of A Hero And A Patriot: A Psycholinguistic Aspect. In T. Martsinkovskaya, & V. R. Orestova (Eds.), Psychology of Subculture: Phenomenology and Contemporary Tendencies of Development, vol 64. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 576-582). Future Academy.