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Lisa M. Edwards

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


Hope has been described by numerous philosophers, theologians, educators, and scientists over the years. While there are many different definitions of hope, it can generally be thought of as a positive mental state about the ability to achieve goals in the future. Since the late 1900s social scientists have attempted to describe, measure, and study hope in various ways, and this construct has been conceptualized as expectations or feelings about goals and the future. Some conceptions of hope view the construct as an emotion that allows individuals to sustain belief during challenging times. While popular literature has generally portrayed this affective view of hope, most research has been conducted about models of hope that are more cognitive in nature. For example, Averill and colleagues described hope as an emotion that was guided by cognitions and influenced by environmental conditions. Stotland and Gottschalk each described hope as expectancies about reaching goals, with Stotland emphasizing the importance and probability of achieving goals, and Gottschalk describing a positive force that propels individuals to work through difficult circumstances. Similarly, Staats viewed hope as an expectancy which interacts with wishes to weigh the possibility and affect connected to the achievement of goals. The theory of hope developed by C. R. Snyder and his colleagues over the past 20 ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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