The Hope Scale

A good opening discussion for this chapter is a simple exercise suggested by C. R. Snyder. Ask your students to close their eyes and think of the future. What image first comes to mind? How long does it take to see that something? If your students are like most people‚ it only takes a few seconds to imagine something that they want to happen. We are intrinsically goal oriented‚ claims Snyder‚ when we think about our futures. Goals capture our attention from the time we awaken in the morning until we go to sleep at night. Motivation is central to human experience.
Handout 12–2 is C. R. Snyder’s Hope Scale. Hope‚ as defined by several authors‚ is the overall perception that one’s goals can be met. More specifically‚ Snyder and his colleagues define hope as ha‎ving two necessary components: agency is the willpower or energy to get moving toward one’s goals and pathways is the perceived ability to generate routes to achieve those goals. The agency subscale score is derived by adding items 2‚ 9‚ 10‚ and 12. The pathways subscale is derived by adding items 1‚ 4‚ 6‚ and 8. A total score is obtained by adding the four agency and four pathways items. Items 3‚ 5‚ 7‚ and 11 are distractors intended to make the content of the scale less obvious. Mean scores on each subscale are 12.5‚ with the average total “hope” score being 25.

Ritschel‚ L. (2005). Lessons in teaching hope: An interview with C. R. Snyder. Teaching of Psychology‚ 32‚ 74–78.

Snyder‚ C. R. (1994). The psychology of hope. New York: Free Press.

Snyder‚ C. R.‚ et al. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology‚ 60‚ 570–585.

Hope Scale
Directions: Read each item carefully. Using the scale shown below‚ please enter the number that best describes you in the blank provided.
            1 = definitely false
            2 = mostly false
            3 = mostly true
            4 = definitely true
            1.         I can think of many ways to get out of a jam.
            2.         I energetically pursue my goals.
            3.         I feel tired most of the time.
            4.         There are lots of ways around any problem.
            5.         I am easily downed in an argument.
            6.         I can think of many ways to get the things in life that are most important to me.
            7.         I worry about my health.
            8.         Even when others get discouraged‚ I know I can find a way to solve the problem.
            9.         My past experiences have prepared me well for my future.
            10.       I’ve been pretty successful in life.
            11.       I usually find myself worrying about something.
            12.       I meet the goals that I set for myself.

Source: Snyder‚ C. R.‚ et al. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology‚ 60‚ 585. Copyright © 1991 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.