Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hope & College Student Success


Hope is one of the most studied constructs in positive psychology and is defined as a cognitive set based on successful agency and pathways (Snyder et al., 1991). People with higher measureable levels of hope are not only determined to achieve a goal (agency), they devise sophisticated and detailed plans to get there (pathways) (Snyder et al., 1991). 

Even when controlling for intelligence, hope predicts higher academic performance (Curry, Snyder, Cook, Ruby, & Rehm, 1997; Curry, Maniar, Sondag, & Sandstedt, 1999; Snyder et al., 2002)

Hope is related to higher test scores in elementary school children and adults (Snyder, Cheavens, & Sympson, 1997). 

In a six-year longitudinal study with college students, high hope in students’ first semester was related to higher cumulative GPA and higher rates of graduation (Curry et al., 1997). 

Hope has been shown to influence goal-specific expectancies college students make regarding their academic performance, such as a class or assignment grade (Rand, 2009), and actually predicts higher overall grades and higher rates of graduation (Curry et al., 1997; Rand, 2009). 


Several studies suggest an overlap between the constructs of hope and optimism

Hope is about pathways thinking (plausible routes and confidence meeting them) and agency thinking (capacity to move along pathway). 

Optimism is about goal importance (value) and overall confidence in achieving it (expectancy). 

Both high hope and optimistic people pick alternate routes instead of giving up and report similar motivating self-talk like “I can” (Rand, 2009). 

From "The Relationship Between College Student Success and Well Being Determinants: An exploratory study of measures," a dissertation by Mark D Shishim.

Is it just me or does this kind of talk really turn you on - you know, pump you up and make you happy?

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