What can give you hope?

In 1994, Snyder developed what is called hope theory.

Snyder describes hope as a multidimensional cognitive state consisting of 1.) hope agency, which is the appraisal of one’s capability and determination to achieve a goal and 2.) hope pathways thinking, which is the mental process of identifying viable routes to goals.

According to Snyder, total hope is the iterative combination of both agency and pathways thinking.

Hope has been shown among adolescents to positively correlate with multiple other variables associated with positive psychological wellbeing, including life satisfaction positive affect, self-efficacy and self-esteem.

His focus on agency creates some difficulties. Agency means an internal locus of control. However, in a different study (Briones, 2009) findings suggest that some people draw hope from external sources such as parents, siblings or god.

In response, Bernardo (2010) proposed loci of hope dimensions, suggesting hope can reside both internally, based on appraisals of one’s own ability to bring about desired ends, and/or externally, based on appraisals of the presence of helpful external agents with the ability to bring about desired ends.

Where do you draw hope from? Is it both or do you rely on one specific locus of control? What would it mean for you to change how you view hope and what can help you acquire it in moments of difficulty?

For me, it can be difficult at times to draw hope internally. But thinking about all the people in my surrounding, all the stories I have heard and what other people have been able to overcome, can serve as inspiration and a wonderful source of hope.

But there is more to this paper.

For Snyder, internal hope development is heavily influenced by childhood experiences, with a supportive environment being important to internal hope development.

He states that a hope inducing environment includes supportive caregivers that transmit instructions on hopeful thinking.

How does that look like?

In being actively engaged with children, caregivers play significant roles in showing children the way to their goals by serving as mentors, nurturers, and fortifiers. In doing so, such caregivers are thought to serve as instructors of agency and pathways thinking.
He adds that the effective hope instilling caregiver does not dictate goals to his/her children. But he/she guides and facilitates the children’s subjectively chosen goals.

Although I don’t have children, this insight will help me to be a better uncle and team member and leader.

Hope is incredibly important as a ward against depression and if I can do my part to give hope in a world where we need it quite often, then I am a happy man.

What are your thoughts on hope and the findings from this study?

2018 – Munoz – Locus of Hope External Hope in Parents or Guardians as an Antecedent of Adolescents’ Internal Hope and Life Satisfaction

#positivepsychology #hope

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