Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 631–655 | Cite as

The psychology of passion: A meta-analytical review of a decade of research on intrapersonal outcomes

  • Thomas CurranEmail author
  • Andrew P. Hill
  • Paul R. Appleton
  • Robert J. Vallerand
  • Martyn Standage
Original Paper


It is just over a decade since Vallerand et al. (J Personal Soc Psychol 85:756–767, 2003) introduced the dualistic model of passion. In this study, we conduct a meta-analytical review of relationships between Vallerand et al’s two passions (viz. harmonious and obsessive), and intrapersonal outcomes, and test the moderating role of age, gender, domain, and culture. A systematic literature search yielded 94 studies, within which 27 criterion variables were reported. These criterion variables derived from four research areas within the intrapersonal sphere: (a) well-/ill-being, (b) motivation factors, (c) cognitive outcomes and, (d) behaviour and performance. From these areas we retrieved 1308 independent effect sizes and analysed them using random-effects models. Results showed harmonious passion positively corresponded with positive intrapersonal outcomes (e.g., positive affect, flow, performance). Obsessive passion, conversely, showed positive associations with positive and negative intrapersonal outcomes (e.g., negative affect, rumination, vitality). Correlations were largely invariant across age and gender, but certain relationships were moderated by domain and culture. Implications are discussed.


Harmonious passion Obsessive passion Positive psychology Motivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for HealthUniversity of BathClaverton Down, BathUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Health and Life SciencesYork St John UniversityYorkUK
  3. 3.School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversite du Quebec a MontrealMontrealCanada
  5. 5.Canada and Institute of Positive Psychology and EducationAustralian Catholic UniversitySydneyAustralia

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