study, Arnau asked volunteers how hopeful they felt about
stressors in their lives. Then some of the volunteers watched a
humorous video while others watched a neutral film. Afterward,
they filled out the hope survey again. “Hopefulness increased
significantly after watching the humor video,” he says (Humor,
2003). What’s more, people who scored higher on a test of sense
of humor had the greatest hope boost following the videos.
More work needs to be done to explore whether humor actually
helps people resolve stressful situations, Arnau says. But in the
meantime, it doesn’t hurt to look at the world with amusement.
Lopez describes three basic steps for building hope. The first
is a process he calls “futurecasting” — envisioning a specific
future goal in a way that makes it come alive. If you want to find
your dream job, for example, he suggests taking pictures that
represent the career you desire, and creating a collage to keep
your goal front and center. “Really crystallize what you want
your future to look like,” he says.
The next step, Lopez says, is to work toward your goal — in
other words, create the pathways that are central to Snyder’s
model of hope. For someone hoping to land a dream job, that
might mean taking classes or revamping a resume.
The final step is planning for contingencies. Lopez has
found most hopeful people tend to see multiple solutions to a
problem, while the hopeless plan only for the best-case scenario
and come up with just one or two pathways to their target,
Lopez says. “You have to come up with many ways to overcome
People trying to recover hope in the face of trauma often
need to build a fourth hope skill that Lopez calls “regoaling.”
One tragic example is among families with terminally ill
children. After months or even years of hoping their child will
recover from illness, parents must shift to a goal of helping
their child live his or her remaining time comfortably, and die
peacefully. Psychologists can help such families accept this new
goal, essentially letting go of old dreams in order to create a new
future for themselves.
Releasing one’s dreams isn’t easy, of course. But it’s worth the
effort to hang on to hope. Ultimately, we all need to be hopeful.
“Many of the ancient religious texts reference faith, hope and
love. Hope is an ancient virtue and a basic human quality,”
Lopez says. n
Kirsten Weir is a writer in Minneapolis.
Want to nurture hope in your own life? Check
out positive psychologist Shane Lopez’s hope-boosting app, My Hope Odyssey, available for
iPad and iPhone. Learn more at his website,
Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s). All rights reserved. WAIS, WASI, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, WISC, Always Learning,
Pearson, designfor Psi, and PsychCorparetrademarks, inthe U.S.and/orothercountriesof Pearson Education, Inc.oritsaffiliate(s). 7740 10/13 A7P
800.627.7271 | |
Up-to-date, brief, and reliable, the Wechsler
Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence®, Second Edition
(WASI®–II) maintains the structure of the original
WASI while offering new content and improvements
to provide greater utility and efficiency.
Updated norms for
ages 6:0–90: 11
Call 800.627.7271 to order your
WASI–II kit today!
The accuracy you expect.
The efficiency you need.
Learn how the WASI–II
subtest scores can be
substituted for the
corresponding subtests on
the WISC–IV and WAIS–IV.
WASI–II for details and