Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 646–654 | Cite as

Harmonious passions support cognitive resources

  • Jonathan Bridekirk
  • Josée Turcotte
  • Bruce OddsonEmail author
Original Paper


Passionate activities can be a source of pleasure and meaning. According to the Dualistic Model of Passion individuals can have either a harmonious or an obsessive passion for an activity. Where harmonious passions provide positive emotional experience, obsessive passions do not. Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory holds that ongoing positive experience have general and lasting cognitive benefits; accordingly this should accrue more strongly to those reporting harmonious passions. In a survey (N = 141), we examined self-reported attention, executive functioning, and life quality and contrast these by individuals’ passion orientation. In a cross-sectional survey we found that harmoniously passionate individuals differed from the obsessively passionate across questionnaire measures of attention, executive functioning, and life quality. We find that these differences correspond well to that which would be predicted on the basis of the broaden-and-build theory, however the observed effects are not large and do not correspond to clinical differences.


Passion Activity engagement Dualistic model of passion Broaden-and-build theory Attention 


Compliance with ethical standards

Confict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Bridekirk
    • 1
  • Josée Turcotte
    • 1
  • Bruce Oddson
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  2. 2.School of Human KineticsLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada

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