What Is Hope Science?
Hope science is an evidence-based practice built on the findings that hope is a leading factor in well-being. More than 2000 studies have been conducted to date on hope science, exploring its impact on workforce resilience and well-being across a range of systems, including child welfare, domestic violence, STEM education, and more.
Hope science is more than wishful thinking—it is the belief the future will be better than today, and you play a role in making your future possible. Hope is based on three simple ideas: Goals, pathways, and willpower. Hope, or hopeful thinking, is the future expectation that we can set valued goals, identify the pathways or roadmaps to achieve those goals, and manage the willpower to pursue our goals.
A Hope Science Curriculum
For the last 15 years, research at the University of Oklahoma’s Hope Research Center has focused on understanding the role of hope as a coping resource vital to the well-being of individuals and organizations. This research has led to the development of the Hope Centered and Trauma Informed® research-based curriculum.
Through Project HOPE the curriculum is currently being shared with 15 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to improve workforce retention and officer well-being and to enhance community connections. This training is designed to empower the participants to develop and implement strategies to infuse hope within their departments. These skills will help officers mitigate the burnout and secondary traumatic stress they experience in regularly responding to acts of violence and high-risk situations. Participants also will learn about a hope-centered, trauma-informed framework related to equity, diversity, and inclusion for addressing trauma and adversity and strengthening community ties.
The design of the work is to learn collaboratively about how a trauma-informed, hope-centered framework and EDI principles can assist law enforcement officers in addressing trauma and adversity in order to improve well-being and build trust within their communities. The overall goal of the initiative is to build a community of practice, with hope science as a backdrop, to facilitate collaboration, innovation and a learning community around law enforcement workforce resilience and community engagement.