Emotional and Cognitive Correlates of Hope
thesisposted on 09.01.2018, 12:30 by Hacer Belen
This thesis outlines and details work conducted to understand the relationship between the components of hope and a range of trait-like emotional and cognitive constructs. Seven studies were conducted to explore these relationships. In this regard, the first study aimed to illuminate the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of trait agency-trait pathways in terms of Big-Five Personality theory. The second study examined the association between dimensions of hope and trait Emotional Intelligence, which is emotion-related perceptions located at the lower level of the personality hierarchy. The third study attempted to elaborate on the nature of the link between hope components and indicators of psychological well-being. To examine concepts related to cognitive aspects, the current thesis adopts the construct of executive functioning (EF), which is well-established in the heart of cognitive psychology. In addition, the fourth study examined the association between the dimensions of hope (agency and pathways) and five self-report EFs, namely Motivational Drive, Impulse Control, Empathy, Organization and Strategic Planning. The fifth study explored whether performance as an objective measure of Planning demonstrates significant links and correlations with agency and pathways. An additional study was conducted to examine whether selected self-report EF test (EFI) relates to objective measures of Planning, TOL-R. The final study investigates the relationship between agency-pathways and three central and critical objective measures of executive functioning; e.g. Stroop, Corsi Block-Tapping, and Switcher tasks. The findings regarding emotional constructs demonstrated that trait agency is associated with traits related to Conscientiousness, the EI factor of Well-Being, Environmental Mastery and Self-Acceptance as aspects of psychological well-being. In contrast, pathways thinking is associated with a number of traits related to the Big-Five interpersonal global traits that inform personality, i.e. Extraversion and Agreeableness, the EI factor of Sociability, Autonomy and Personal Growth, as aspects of psychological well-being. To assess cognitive constructs, agency is associated with self-reported Motivational Drive, Empathy, Organization and Strategic Planning, while pathways is associated with Strategic Planning. This association was not confirmed by objective EF measures. Findings provided by studies of hope and EF highlight the presence of a link between targeted EFs in self-report questionnaires, but not in objective measures.