Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 501–518 | Cite as

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

  • Joëlle Carpentier
  • Geneviève A. Mageau
  • Robert J. Vallerand


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.


Harmonious and obsessive passion Well-being Flow Ruminations 



This research was facilitated by masters and doctoral fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to the first and second author, and from the Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture (FQRSC) to the first author. It was also funded by grants from SSHRC and the FQRSC to the third author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social, Department of PsychologyUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

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