Let's say for example, lighting a fire in order to put out the fire in order to seem like a hero. Or for example, to increase your position, create additional problems to put strain on higher ups (and these problems would just go away if you were promoted)

Is there a term for that? Looking elsewhere on the site the only questions seem to be about problems you unintentionally created. What about the opposite?

Single word or phrase

  • Just addressing the title question: there is the less deplorable situation where one creates a problem with good intention (a realistic though controlled fire drill, say). Sep 7, 2023 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Hero syndrome.
Firefighter arson is one of the major reasons the term "hero syndrome" was coined and brought into popular discussion.

From Wikipedia:

Hero syndrome is a psychological disorder and the need to help someone, also a term used by the media to describe the behavior of a person seeking heroism or recognition, usually by creating a harmful situation to objects or persons which they then can resolve. This can include unlawful acts, such as arson. The term has been used to describe behavior of public servants, such as firefighters, nurses, police officers, security guards and politicians.

  • 1
    Can you provide a link/reference and some more explanation on what hero syndrome is.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 10, 2022 at 21:07
  • There is a very short Wikipedia page on the subject, but better references would be good.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 10, 2023 at 11:37

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