Hope theory: the possibilities of positive psychology for alleviating stress and achieving goals – PsycNET

From my readings this week, the idea of creating more hope based narratives of the world has caught my attention the most. In a world rife with negativity, we might feel hopeless, and as a result, powerless. But this is a false framing of the reality in which we live. There is life, there is possibility – creating and valuing ‘hope’ is the first step towards regaining the power in ourselves, and over our ‘self’.


Hope is defined as the perceived ability to produce pathways to achieve desired goals and to motivate oneself to use those pathways. The historical origins of hope theory are reviewed. Definitions and explanations are given for the core concepts of Snyder’s (1994c) cognitive model of hope, including goals, pathways, and agency. Goals are abstract mental targets that guide human behaviors. Pathways thought emails the perceived ability to generate multiple routes to desired goals. Agency thought entails the perceived ability to initiate and sustain movement along a pathway. Emotions are conceptualized as sequelae of goal-directed thoughts and actions and function as feedback regarding perceived success or failure of a goal pursuit. A temporal model of the goal pursuit process is presented, and the roles of hope cognitions at each phase of the sequence are explained. Several scales constructed based on hope theory and used in research are described. Research on hope…

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