Hope: A predictor of successful goal attainment
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2009
Hope is a construct that is related to successful goal attainment, and includes pathways (routes to a goal) and agency (perceived capability of pathways utilization) thinking. High hope has been found to be positively correlated with better academic, athletic, and social success, and also better psychological health and quality of life. This study seeks to expand the literature by experimentally testing whether high hope people actually generate more pathways and higher agency than low hope people in a behavioral laboratory task. First, 65 participants were asked to complete a task in which they generated as many pathways as possible to complete a hypothetical goal and to rate the likelihood of use of each generated pathway. Then, they were asked to fill out a packet of questionnaires, one of which was the Trait Hope Scale. Results show that the high hope group did generate more pathways and had higher agency scores associated with the pathways; however, the results were only significant for one of the four goal scenarios. Results also show that the agency subscale on the Trait Hope Scale were predictive of higher agency ratings on the experimental task. This work is significant because it provides a framework to impact hopeful thinking for low hope individuals and improve existing treatments for people with psychological maladies (i.e. depression) by teaching them how to more effectively pursue their endeavors, and consequently improving their quality of life.
Alkire Research Scholarship
Related Item:Academic Major: Psychology
Honda for their sponsorship of the Undergraduate Research Forum
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