In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Positive Psychological Capital (PsyCap)

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical Framework for PsyCap
  • PsyCap Antecedents and Outcomes
  • PsyCap Measurement
  • Cross-Cultural Contexts of PsyCap

Psychology Positive Psychological Capital (PsyCap)
Carolyn Youssef-Morgan, Cody Siewert, Fred Luthans
  • LAST REVIEWED: 24 July 2018
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 July 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0220


Positive psychological capital (PsyCap) is an individual’s positive psychological state of development that is characterized by: (1) having confidence (efficacy) to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks; (2) making a positive attribution (optimism) about succeeding now and in the future; (3) persevering toward goals and, when necessary, redirecting paths to goals (hope) in order to succeed; and (4) when beset by problems and adversity, sustaining and bouncing back and even beyond (resilience) to attain success. It emerged as an offshoot of the positive psychology movement at the turn of the 21st century. The emphasis of PsyCap is the study and application of positive psychological concepts in the workplace, although research and applications in other domains such as education, sports, public service, uniformed services, and health/well-being are becoming increasingly popular. Importantly, PsyCap emphasizes state-like psychological resources that can be measured, developed, and managed, rather than stable traits or momentary states.

General Overviews

PsyCap draws from the foundation provided by positive psychology. A general background on positive psychology, as well as the specific origins and overview of PsyCap and its dimensions are presented.

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