Hopeful Fear & Fearful Hope: A Polar Perspective
The concept of hope and its study lies within the discipline of positive psychology. Thus far, C.R. Snyder (2002) has theorized a model of hope, which proposed that hope was felt in the pursuit of goals where an individual would exhibit ‘agency ‘self-belief and motivation, and ‘pathway’ thoughts, visualising a way to achieve these goals.
Snyder’s proposals and research appears limited to its consideration of hope as a motivator and how hope levels may be measured. It offers a model of the potential dynamics, but in offering a general picture, the model does not explore the breadth and depth of hope. For example, that in addition to a high or low hope level, there may be different aspects to hope that need to be understood, together with its origins, meaning and purpose. His research has its limitations, and the full depth of hope is not considered, and may even be confused with optimism and self-esteem, nor does it
consider the extent to which goals that are pursued are the best fit for the individual, in terms of their strengths (Lopez, 2013), which may also include the intrinsic meaning of the goal itself. This research posits that hope and fear are actually two perspectives of the same emotion sharing the same origins and purpose, and that these perspectives are designed to work together depending on whether we want something to happen or want to avoid something. Through interviews and thematic analysis, the Polar Model of hope and fear has emerged to illustrate this polarity and duality. Additionally, a model has emerged to illustrate why and when hope or fear are evoked, together with the conditions and elements that seem to exist during this process. This model is called the Hope Triangle.