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Why Psychological Capital can be the best investment

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From the Psychology of work and organizations has emerged in recent years an increase in the study of positive organizational behavior (Positive Organizational Behavior, POB), which is interested in the application of positive psychological strengths and capacities of people to improve work performance.

And it is in this context that emerges the concept of psychological capital, defined as a state of positive psychological development of the individual, which goes beyond human and social capital.

This state of positive psychological development is an important predictor of well-being that, in addition, can be cultivated and enhanced, resulting in highly adaptive by favoring the commitment, performance and job satisfaction of workers, as well as their mental health.

The pillars of Psychological Capital

Psychological Capital is made up of four basic psychological resources state type; they are not personality traits, that is, they are susceptible to development and change, so they can play a crucial role in the development of individuals, teams and organizations.

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Research has identified such basic psychological resources as self-efficacy, optimism, hope, and resilience.


In his Social Cognitive Theory, Bandura (1997) defines the self-efficacy What the belief in our own capacities to organize and execute the necessary courses of action to obtain certain achievements. And the main sources of self-efficacy are: success experiences, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and emotional states.

Self-efficacy is one of the most important determinants of motivation and human behavior. It refers to the person's belief regarding their competence to successfully perform a task, achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle.

psychological capital

Thus, the more confidence we have in our own competence, the more likely we are to try strive and persist in overcoming possible difficulties.

  • Related article: "What is social psychology?"


We broadly understand optimism as have a generalized expectation that the future will bring us successful results, as opposed to pessimism, where that expectation would have adverse results.

Its characteristics of positive expectations, flexibility and adaptability are significant predictors of mental health, acting as a protective factor against stress and depression. depression, and favoring a high personal growth.

At the organizational level, studies suggest that optimistic employees not only feel better, but also get better results, since their optimism is related to their performance, satisfaction and happiness (Youssef and Luthans, 2007).

  • You may be interested: "False optimism: what is it and what are its negative effects?"


hope is a positive state of motivation based on our perceived ability to find different pathways toward our desired goals, as well as the strength to motivate us towards them (Snyder, 2002).

People who tend to see their day to day life with hope tend to have expectations of success and are more likely to seek personal growth.

In a longitudinal study, Wandeler and Bundick (2011) concluded that hope should be promoted in work and organizational environments, among other positive capacities, to ensure that workers can increase their perceived professional competence.


The resilience it is the ability to fight or face adversity, conflict or failure, and emerge recovered and strengthened, thus promoting our progress and improving our skills.

Resilient people are commonly characterized by: accepting reality unconditionally, having the deep belief that life is meaningful, and an uncanny ability to improvise and adapt to change (Coutu, 2002).

That is, the resilience makes us stronger and more successful in the face of adversity, revealing itself as an opportunity for our potential development.

Our best investment

To achieve optimal positive psychological functioning, therefore, it is important have the confidence to take on and put in the effort necessary to succeed at challenging tasks (self-efficacy), make a positive attribution about our future success (optimism), persevere toward our goals and knowing how to redirect the paths to achieve them (hope) and, in the face of possible problems, recover and go further (resilience).

Although it is true that both the concept of Psychological Capital and its research emerge in the organizational and work, no one escapes us that it can apply to all areas of our lives, since it is about our development psychological.

Thus, increasing our Psychological Capital could be the best investment of our lives.

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