Just hoping you’ll graduate will do half of the job!

Still looking for the secret ingredient to boost your grades? Look no further, hope is here to rescue you. A recent study revealed that being hopeful has a positive effect on several aspects of your academic career, in spite of your intelligence.

Now, you might think that hope is just a way of being over-optimistic but less it true. Following the positive psychology movement, hope is a way of setting goals, seeking ways to reach them and keep motivating yourself towards these goals. However, the individual effects of hope on academic performance remained unclear up until now.

A group of researchers from the University of Houston studied the individual effects of hope on students’ academic performance. To make sure not only the go-getters showed good results, they controlled for other influencing factors such as educational history, engagement and self-efficacy. They let 229 students fill in questionnaires to measure these constructs at the beginning of their study, looked at their educational history and followed them during their academic career. What turned out? From all the studied factors, hope was the strongest predictor of more continuation of the study, higher grades and more chance of graduation in 4 years. Moreover, the more students believed in their own capabilities, the higher their grades were during all four college years.

Already enthusiastic? A good way to start is by writing down your goals, why they are important to you and at least three ways to reach them. And finally, don’t forget what your momma told you: always believe in yourself!

Written by: T. van Nieuwenborg

Reference: Gallagher, M. W., Marques, S. C., & Lopez, S. J. (2017). Hope and the academic trajectory of college students. Journal of Happiness Studies18(2), 341-352.

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