Hope: The power of wish and possibility

Theory and Psychology 20 (2):251-276 (2010)
Abstract
This work proposes an analysis of the cognitive and motivational components of hope, its basic properties, and the affective dispositions and behaviors it is likely to induce. In our view current treatments of hope do not fully account for its specificity, by making hope overlap with positive expectation or some specification of positive expectation. In contrast, we attempt to highlight the distinctive features of hope, pointing to its differences from positive expectation, as well as from a sense of successful agency, optimism, trust, and faith. Fear and anxiety are also addressed, and the latter is analyzed as a state of mind implying both fear and hope. Finally, the relationship between hope and motivation is explored, and “active” hope is compared with “passive” hope. Some concluding remarks summarize the results of our analysis, and stress the role of hope in fostering the individual’s well-being.
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