Hope and Optimism - IndoPositive

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Hope and Optimism

Martin Seligman’s twenty years of research on optimism started when he found that an optimistic explanatory style worked against helplessness. Seligman found that often the difference between people who give up in the face of adversity and people who persevere is how people explain bad events and good events. Seligman found that an optimistic explanatory style is not an inherent trait, but rather a trainable skill (hence the name of Seligman’s book “Learned Optimism”). Additionally, Sandra Schneider defines realistic optimism as the tendency to select positive interpretations whenever one has interpretational latitude.
Furthermore, “optimism” is used not only to describe an explanatory style, but especially colloquially it is used to describe the “half-full” glass person, who – it is often implied – was born this way. Optimism as a trait is also studied in positive psychology, and appears as the VIA Strength of Hope and Optimism. Hope and optimism are both part of our cognitive, emotional, and motivational stances toward the future, indicating a belief that future good events will outweigh bad events (Peterson & Seligman, 2004, p. 572).
According to Rick Snyder’s Hope Theory, hope is a process of goal-directed thought that reflects both the belief that one can find pathways to the goal and has motivation based on one’s perceived capabilities, oragency thinking.
Optimism is one of the qualities that meet the criteria for inclusion in the Luthans, Youssef, and Avolio psychological capital model.

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