Log in

Member Login:

Log in

ISQOLS Webinar, "Hope: A constructive approach in an uncertain world"

  • 15 Nov 2023
  • 9:00 AM (PST)
  • Online Webinar


  • The webinar is free for all participants.

Registration is closed

ISQOLS Webinar,

"Hope: A constructive approach in an uncertain world"

Wednesday, 15 November

9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT/6:00pm CET

This webinar will discuss the meaning and relevance of hope for individuals and society at large. First, we focus on the significance of hope, as following from a growing body of research which shows the positive correlates and effects of hope; how hope can influence behavior; and how hope is currently unequally distributed in society. The difference between hope and related constructs, such as optimism, expectations, and aspirations, shows that the unique value of hope comes from its positive approach to uncertainty. Constructive hope is defined as the choice to focus on the possibility of a positive outcome, while acknowledging that the future is inherently uncertain. While fear is often posited as the opposite of hope, here we argue that hope and fear tend to go hand in hand, an that despair, the belief that the future is determined to be negative, is what actually arises when hope is lost. In such cases, accepting that the future is uncertain, can allow people to start investing in their future again. Moreover, while disappointment from hope can be detrimental for wellbeing, we argue that the positive emotions accompanying modest hope are generally the more constructive choice in an uncertain world, as this motivates behavior, increases creativity, and gives us the only chance to create a better future. Nonetheless, disappointment, which is inextricably related to a hopeful disposition, does create a risk of lowered wellbeing, apathy, and resentment. Resilience is therefore an important skill that needs to accompany hope for it to have a positive effect on us. This creates a great opportunity to increase wellbeing, as both hope and resilience can be enhanced. It is therefore of great value to focus more scientific attention on the topic of hope. Several ways of measuring hope and studying it in existing datasets are discussed.


Dr. Emma Pleeging is the 2023 ISQOLS Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. She is senior researcher and project coordinator at the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization (EHERO) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her work focuses on the role of positive experiences such as happiness and hope in society, organizations and for individuals. She has written extensively on the meaning, relevance and measurement of hope from an interdisciplinary perspective. Indeed, she has published six papers on hope in international journals since 2020, one received a best paper award, and her dissertation on hope also received a best dissertation award in 2022. She coordinates several projects aimed at increasing worker-wellbeing in Dutch organizations, specifically in the educational and cultural sector. Using action research, these projects combine scientific research with practical know-how from employees to not only understand what determines wellbeing, but also to achieve higher wellbeing in collaboration with the people who it concerns.

The International Society for
Quality-of-Life Studies

P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, Arizona, 85299, USA


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software