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Dr. Kendra Thomas, Psychology

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The purpose of this study is to develop a quantitative measure for conceptualizing hope as a virtue while expanding on the psychological framework of hope theory. Hope has predominantly been studied in positive psychology under Snyder's Hope Theory framework (Snyder, 2002). However, its current definition does not encompass a virtuous definition of hope, something that is inherently good. Hope Theory predominately studies hope as a personal trait that promotes individual success and well-being (Schornick et al., 2022). Virtues are a target of much scientific focus and a theoretical framework has recently been proposed to further its empirical study (Fowers et al., 2021). This study follows a qualitative study of moral exemplars of hope and operationally defines virtuous hope as the following: Virtuous hope involves the ardent pursuit of realizing a particular vision of the common good with intention and action, often growing out of adversity, and shaped in relation to other people and the transcendent. Its definition is built on qualitative interviews with moral exemplars of hope. 33 quantitative items were drafted and piloted with an undergraduate sample in the United States, as well as a paid international sample sourced through Prolific. Factor analysis, cronbach's alphas and invariance analyses will be conducted to test and hone the scale. To determine construct validity, the items were piloted alongside measures of hope theory, eschatological hope, depression, justice sensitivity, and flourishing. We hypothesized a mild to moderate positive correlation between virtuous hope, eschatological hope, justice sensitivity, and hope theory and a negative correlation with depression. We anticipate that both eschatological hope (hope from God) and justice sensitivity will be more closely related with virtuous hope compared to hope theory. This study would provide a quantitative measure that is consistent with virtue science and broadly usable to study hope as a virtue.


Title on poster differs from abstract booklet. Poster title: Virtuous Hope and Its Measurement: South Africa, Brazil and USA

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