LIFESTYLE

Study Finds Latinos Are Twice As Likely To Perform Heroic Deeds

Barack Obama saluda a Daniel Hernández, el hispano que asistió a la representante Gabrielle Giffords cuando fue baleada por un individuo y probablemente le salvó la vida. Los dos se encontraron antes del emocionante discurso de Obama en Tucson, Arizona, en homenaje a las víctimas de la balacera el 12 de enero del 2011.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Barack Obama saluda a Daniel Hernández, el hispano que asistió a la representante Gabrielle Giffords cuando fue baleada por un individuo y probablemente le salvó la vida. Los dos se encontraron antes del emocionante discurso de Obama en Tucson, Arizona, en homenaje a las víctimas de la balacera el 12 de enero del 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The past week has been spent trying to figure out why Daniel Hernandez ran towards gunfire to help a congresswoman. But according to a new study the reason for his heroic deed might be clear -- he is Latino.

A Stanford University study by Professor Emeritus Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues found that both blacks and Hispanics were twice as likely as whites to have performed heroic deeds, USA Today reported.

Zimbardo plans more research on the reasons for the ethnic and racial differences. He speculated that it could be due to "greater opportunities to respond" or possibly that "being discriminated against makes them have more compassion to others in need."

The nationally-representative sample of 4,000 adults found that 20 percent of respondents qualified as heroes who had helped during a dangerous emergency, taken a stand against injustice, or sacrificed for a stranger.

Zimbardo has a history of focusing his research on psychology in extreme situations. His controversial Stanford Prison Experiment proved that "terrifyingly normal" individuals can commit alarming atrocities. Students were assigned to be prison guards and inmates and took on the character of their roles. 

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Now, the Heroic Imagination Project aims to prove the opposite. That in all situations, these same people can speak out against evil and become heroes. And Latinos might just be leading the charge.

Contact Adrian Carrasquillo: Adrian.Carrasquillo@foxnewslatino.com

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