Space to Think

So thinking can develop

Valuing Psychological Capital

I am not much given to framing human and social factors in the monetary metaphor as forms of capital, but  let’s accept that it has become a way that important ideas are being communicated.

Positive Psychology News Daily has an interesting review article on “Psychological Capital” (Psycap):

Psychological Capital (Oxford University Press, 2007), by Fred Luthans, Carolyn M. Youssef, and Bruce J. Avolio, introduces both a significant stream of research and an important framework for the application of positive psychology to organizations. The stream of research involves a construct they call “PsyCap” — a composite construct made up of self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resiliency.

And more recently, the Gallup Management Journal has linked this work to business. As Skip Reardon comments over at Be Excellent,

It’s this new focus on “human factors” that will revolutionize the business excellence industry.

Key questions that indicate our psychological capital might include:

  • How well do I think I will be able to meet a future challenge?
  • What sense do I have of goals and the means to attain them?
  • How positively do I respond to and interpret set-backs?
  • When beset by problems and adversity, how well do I keep going and bounce back to attain success?

We need to explore further how to recognise, reinforce and stimulate such “psychological capital” in our selves, colleagues and organisations if we are concerned to shape and contribute to the future and not be simply fatalistic or victimised in the face of change and possibility.

April 22, 2008 - Posted by | organisations, psychology | , , , ,


  1. Hi Graeme,

    Thanks for writing about this topic.
    I think Psychological Capital is one of the most powerful and most effective topics in positive psychology – so it’s fun to see that you think of it as an important concept too.

    BTW, psychological capital is so easy to increase – when you have a good time speaking with your friends, when you have accomplished something, when you feel good – these are all contributors to your reserve of psychological capital. And then – and most importantly – when, afterwards, you may have a setback, your reserve of psychological capital pushes you through it.

    Thanks much, wishing you LOTS of psychological capital!

    Editor, PPND

    Comment by Senia of Positive Psychology News Daily | April 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Just wanted to share something that is quite innovative and very positive.
    For over 20 years, I dreamed of giving people direct, personal and positive encouragement. I now publish personalized books for the personal development/self empowerment field. Not only have I written and published two books of affirmations that includes the reader’s name embedded on each page, I am also taking several of the old success classics that exist in the public domain and inserting your name several hundreds times through each text. It is ‘as if’ the author is speaking directly to YOU. It has caught the attention and drawn endorsements from people like Mark Victor Hansen, Dr. Joe Vitale, Jack Canfield, John Assaraf and others. You can see my latest project which was personalizing ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ by the late Wallace Wattles at .
    Also, you see my first personalized affirmations book, ‘Powerfirmations’ at

    Comment by Michael Murphy | April 29, 2008 | Reply

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