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Hope and outcome anticipation

Maria Romero, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This research explored the role of hope as an emotional component of outcome anticipation. It is assumed that people often face situations that require to predict and to construe what will happen the next moment. Sometimes the events have a reasonable degree of certainty, and people may predict the probabilities of attaining goals with some precision. In such situations people may formulate fairly rational expectations about the future events. On other occasions people face future events with a higher degree of uncertainty, and rational expectations may not be possible. Thus, people make emotional anticipations through hope. It is also assumed that in different cultures people follow different rules to anticipate future events. In the present study USA and Venezuelan college students were compared in the way they anticipated outcomes. The research examined: (a) The effects of dispositional hope, country, and perceived control on grade anticipation in a midterm exam; (b) the realism of anticipations made through hope and expectancy; and (c) the distinction between hoped-for and expected outcomes in the two cultures. Three studies are reported: the first one deals with the construction and development of two dispositional hope scales; the second one deals with the exploration of the effects of dispositional hope upon outcome anticipation in a experimental task; and the third one evaluates the same effects in a real life situation. Results showed that there are two different types of hope (passive and active). The two hopes are multifactorial constructs, and have implications for outcome anticipation. A difference was found in the way hope affects anticipations in the two cultures. Also cultural differences were found in the anticipations made as 'hopes' and as 'expectations.' The results are interpreted as initial evidence of hope as an emotional component of outcome anticipation. Also discussed are the implications of using dispositional hope to predict anticipatory behaviors in uncertain situations such as illness, adversity, or achievement. The culturally different results may have some importance for the conceptualization of emotions as systems of social rules.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Romero, Maria, "Hope and outcome anticipation" (1989). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8917396.