On the Two Faces of Passion: The Harmonious and the Obsessive

  • Robert J. VallerandEmail author


Although the construct of passion goes back to the early times of philosophers, it has been largely neglected in contemporary psychology until recently. Passion deserves our attention because it reflects a reality for a majority of individuals in a variety of cultures and leads to important life outcomes. In this chapter, I address a number of issues. First, I discuss the concept of passion and in so doing introduce the Dualistic Model of Passion that my colleagues and I have developed. I also present a brief history of the passion concept and compare it to interest and highlight similarities and differences between the two constructs. Second, I review initial research on passion followed by research on the development of passion distinguishing between the factors involved in the initial and the ongoing development of passion. I then review research on the effects of passion for a number of outcomes. Finally, I end the chapter with some concluding thoughts and suggestions for future research.


Harmonious passion Obsessive passion Interest Development of passion Determinants of passion Consequences of passion 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement SocialDépartement de Psychologie, Université du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Positive Psychology and EducationAustralian Catholic UniversityBanyoAustralia

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