Monday, December 23, 2019

Hope Theory

C.R. Snyder and his colleagues are credited with the development of hope theory.  Goals are the key cognitive component of hope theory. Goals organize the mind’s processes leading to the achievement of a goal. Hope is a motivational state that arises from thoughts about pathways thinking and agency thinking in the pursuit of a goal.

Hope theory has two major components: Pathways Thinking, and Agentic Thinking. 

Pathways Thinking refers to a person’s thoughts about ways to reach a goal. True hope relies on a person’s ability to generate at least one realistic way to reach a goal. People with high levels of hope are skilled at finding more than one pathway to a goal.

Agency or Agentic Thinking is a strong belief in one’s capacity to reach a goal. The primary example of agency thinking is the statement, “I can do this.” This is especially true when some barrier arises.

Pathways thinking and agentic thinking interact to strengthen each other when a person’s mind is engaged in the process of sequencing action toward a goal.

Snyder and his colleagues developed measures of hope. See the Adult Hope Scale for more information including Snyder’s classic book on the Psychology of Hope.

Hope is a significant variable in the Psychology of Religion as well. For example, Christians focus on hope embodied in Jesus during Christmas and Easter.

Hope is also a significant contributor to positive outcomes in psychotherapy (Sutton, Kelly, Worthington, Griffin, & Dinwiddie, 2018).

C.R. Snyder (Charles Richard "Rick" Snyder) was a psychological scientist at the University of Kansas (1944-2006).


Adult Hope Scale

The Paradox of Hope at Advent


Sutton, G. W., Kelly, H., Worthington, E. L. Jr., Griffin, B. J., & Dinwiddie, C. (2018) Satisfaction with Christian psychotherapy and well-being: Contributions of hope, personality, and spirituality. Spirituality in Clinical Practice5 (1), 8-24. doi: 10.1037/scp0000145  Academia Link    ResearchGate Link

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