My Hope for Having Children: A True Story of Love, Sacrifice, Faith, Courage and Hope
But I could not find any evidence that people actively “think” about hope or about using any of these strategies. We do not seem to “think” about whether or not it would be helpful or wise to have “hope” in any given situation. We are either hopeful or we are not. And, if we are hopeful, it (the condition of hope) seems to “automatically kick in” based on a person’s earlier learning.
Hope also seems to be a powerful motivator. C.R. Snyder, a University of Kansas psychologist, posed the following hypothetical situation to college students: “Although you set your goal of getting a B in a class, after your first exam, which accounts for 30% of your grade, you find you only scored a D. It is now one week later. What do you do?” Snyder found that hope made all the difference. Students with high levels of hope said they would work harder and thought of a wider range of things they could do to improve their final grade. Students with moderate levels of hope thought of several ways to improve their grade, but had far less determination to pursue them. Students with low levels of hope gave up attempting to improve their grade, completely demoralized (Goleman, 1995).
This study is not just a theoretical paradigm. When Snyder also compared the actual academic achievement of freshman students who scored high and low on hope, he found that hope was actually a better predictor of their first semester grades than were their SAT scores (which are highly correlated with IQ and therefore widely accepted as a predictor of how successful students will be in college) (Goleman, 1995).