, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 501-518

Ruminations and Flow: Why Do People with a More Harmonious Passion Experience Higher Well-Being?

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Abstract

Research shows that harmonious and obsessive passion are positively and negatively linked to well-being respectively (e.g., Vallerand et al. in J Personal 75:505–534, 2007; Psychol Sport Exerc 9:373–392, 2008). The present study investigated the psychological mechanisms underlying the different impact of the two types of passion on well-being. A theoretical model involving passion, ruminations, flow experiences, and well-being was tested. Results showed that the more people have a harmonious passion, the more they tend to experience flow in their favorite activity, which in turn predicts higher well-being. Obsessive passion did not seem to be systematically linked to flow in the favorite activity. In contrast, the more people have an obsessive passion, the more they tend to ruminate about their passionate activity while engaging in another activity, which did not seem to be systematically the case for people with a harmonious passion. These ruminations are negatively related to flow experiences in the other activity, which are positively associated with well-being. Flow and ruminations thus seem to contribute to the understanding of the link between passion and well-being.