Psychology Professor Tony Scioli
Explores Hope and Humanity
Hope is an incredibly important but surprisingly "under-researched" emotion, says Anthony Scioli, professor of psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist.
"Psychologists have typically ignored the topic of hope," explains Scioli. When hope has been addressed, it has been mainly in terms of mundane "goal expectations." While everyday strivings are one important aspect of hope, Scioli believes "they represent no more than a third of the "essence of hope." In Scioli 's view, current psychological theories [of hope] are "extremely impoverished" and hardly do justice to "one of the most important human virtues."
Scioli has been studying hope for nearly two decades. Six years ago, he began to focus his efforts on developing a grand theory of hope, "an interdisciplinary tapestry" that combines the best insights of scientists, philosophers, poets, and writers.
More recently, Scioli has teamed with another clinical psychologist, Henry Biller, a professor of psychology at the University of Rhode Island, to write what Scioli describes as "intelligent self-help book on hope." A synopsis of Hope in the Age of Anxiety, which is due to be published in 2005, may be found at www.gainhope.com. Visitors to the web site can also take the "Hope Test," which Scioli developed.
According to Scioli, it is best to think of hope as an amalgam of three key human motives: attachment, mastery, and survival. These motives give rise to what he calls the "roots and wings of the soul, the emotion we call hope." Adequate nurturing of the hope motives, he says, can result in the development of a "hopeful core," consisting of the "attached self, the empowered self, and the resilient self."
"Hope is as essential to our well-being as the air we breathe," says Scioli. "Abiding in hope is the basis for achieving true success, crafting loving relationships, and securing a genuine sense of peace. "True hope," he adds, is not about denial or "blind optimism" but "psychological and spiritual transformation."
In Hope in the Age of Anxiety, Scioli and Biller tackle a wide assortment of hope-related topics, including love and parenting, religion and spirituality, varieties of faith, mastery and inspiration, overcoming hopelessness, and health and healing. One aim of this book, says Scioli, is to help readers better understand how their early development, cultural background, and spiritual beliefs impact the level and quality of their dreams and aspirations.
For more information, contact Anthony Scioli at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-358-2541.