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

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In the harmonious passion condition, participants were instructed to: “Write about a time when your favorite activity was in harmony with other things that are part of you and you felt that your favorite activity allowed you to live a variety of experiences. Recall this event vividly and include as much details as you can to relive the experience”.

  2. 2.

    In the obsessive passion condition, participants were instructed to: “Write about a time where you had difficulties controlling your urge to do your favorite activity and you felt that your activity was the only thing that really turned you on. Recall this event vividly and include as much details as you can to relive the experience”.

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Curran, T., Hill, A.P., Appleton, P.R. et al. The psychology of passion: A meta-analytical review of a decade of research on intrapersonal outcomes. Motiv Emot 39, 631–655 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-015-9503-0

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Keywords

  • Harmonious passion
  • Obsessive passion
  • Positive psychology
  • Motivation