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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a conceptual introduction to and overview of Snyder’s hope theory. Hope is defined as “a positive motivational state that is based on an interactively derived sense of successful (a) agency (goal-directed energy) and (b) pathways (planning to meet goals)”. The interactions among the goals, agency, and pathways components of hope theory are identified as well as the role of emotions in hope theory and how hope motivates behavior in the face of obstacles. A brief overview of the two most widely used measures of hope (the trait hope scale and the state hope scale) is provided. The conceptual differences between hope theory and related positive psychology theories such as optimism and self-efficacy are identified. Finally, the role of hope in promoting positive functioning in academics, coping with stress, psychotherapy, and other life contexts is reviewed.

Keywords: hope, agency, pathways, goals, trait hope scale, state hope scale

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