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5 Myths About Hope

  • Myths about Hope

    A new science is changing the way we think about our most important human capacity. Here are the five myths that are being brought to an end.

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  • Hope is purely a positive emotion

    Myth # 1:
    Hope Is A Purely Positive Emotion

    Fact: Hope is the only positive emotion that requires negativity or uncertainty to be activated. If we didn’t have uncertainty about our future, there would be no need for hope.

  • Myth #2:
    Hope Influences our belief system.

    Fact: Hope is informed and influenced by our beliefs. Studies show that the brain responds to the belief a placebo will reduce pain. Once we believe there is hope—there is hope.

  • Hope same as faith

    Myth #3:
    Hope is the same as faith.

    Fact: Hope is when we feel we can positively impact our future. Faith is when we have surrendered to something greater. Studies show that individuals with high hope believe they have more control and influence in their future.

  • Myth 4:
    Hope is regulated by circumstance.

    Fact: Hope is regulated by calibration and correction. When we adjust our goal closer to what is more realistically possible, we can become motivated again.

  • Myth 5:
    You either have hope or you don’t.

    Fact: Hope can be activated and facilitated by positivity. Studies show that engaging in small acts of positivity, like practicing gratitude and kindness, can strengthen our sense of hope.



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5 Myths About Hope

Daniel Tomasulo, Ph.D.

Honored by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers on the issue of depression Dr. Dan Tomasulo, Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP is a core faculty member at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI), Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds a Ph.D. in psychology, MFA in writing, and Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

He authors the daily column, Ask the Therapist, for, and developed the Dare to be Happy experiential workshops for Kripalu.   His award-winning memoir, American Snake Pit was released in 2018, and his next book, Learned Hopefulness, The Power of Positivity To Overcome Depressionis hailed as: “…the perfect recipe for fulfillment, joy, peace, and expansion of awareness.”  by Deepak Chopra, MD: Author of Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential.

Learn more about Dr. Dan at his website.

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APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). 5 Myths About Hope. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Apr 2020 (Originally: 9 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 6 Apr 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.