There were three major purposes to the initial work on passion (Vallerand et al

There were three major purposes to the initial work on passion (Vallerand et al

A large variety of passionate activities were reported ranging from physical activity and sports to watching movies, playing a musical instrument, and reading

2003): to determine the prevalence of passion for an activity in one’s life, to develop the Passion Scale, and to test the validity of some of the elements of the passion constructs. Thus, Vallerand et al. (2003, Study 1) had over 500 university students complete the Passion Scale with respect to an activity that they loved, that they valued, and in which they invested time and energy (i.e., the passion definition), as well as other scales to test predictions derived from the DMP. Participants reported engaging in their passionate activity for an average of 8.5 hours per week and had been engaging in that activity for almost six years. Thus, clearly passionate activities are meaningful to people and are long-lasting in nature. Furthermore, 84% of participants indicated that they had at least a moderate level of passion for a given activity in their lives (they scored at least four out of seven on a question asking them if their favorite activity was a « passion » for them). Second, as pertains to the development of the Passion Scale, results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported the presence of two factors corresponding to the two types of passion. These findings on the factor validity of the Passion Scale have been replicated in a number of studies in a variety of activities (e.g., Carbonneau et al. 2008; Castelda et al. 2007; Rousseau et al. 2002; Vallerand & Houlfort 2003; Vallerand et al. 2006, Studies 1, 2, and 3). The Passion Scale consists of two subscales of six items each reflecting Obsessive (e.g., “I almost have an obsessive feeling toward this activity”) and Harmonious Passion (e.g., “This activity is in harmony with other activities in my life”). Furthermore, internal consistency analyses have shown that both subscales are reliable (typically .75 and above). Finally, test-retest correlations over periods ranging from four to six weeks revealed moderately high stability values (in the .80s, Rousseau et al. 2002), thereby supporting the factorial validity and reliability of the scale.

Finally, other studies in this initial research (Vallerand et al

Finally, with respect to the third purpose, a series of critical findings pertained to the results from partial correlations (controlling for the correlation between the two types of passion) which showed that both harmonious and obsessive passions are positively associated with the passion criteria (loving the activity, valuing it, spending regular time and energy in it, and feeling that it is part of one’s identity), thereby providing support for the definition of passion. In addition, both types of passion were found to relate to one’s identity and only obsessive passion was found to significantly relate to a measure of conflict with other life activities. Thus, overall, these findings support the view that both harmonious and obsessive passions are indeed a “passion” as each one reflects the definition of the passion construct. 2003) have also shown that obsessive (but not harmonious) passion correlated to rigid persistence in ill-advised activities such as cycling over ice and snow in winter (Vallerand et al. 2003, Study 3) and pursuing one’s engagement in activities that have become negative for the person such as pathological gambling (Vallerand et al. 2003, Study 4).

In sum, initial research provided support for the concept of harmonious and obsessive passion. Since the initial publication, over 100 studies have been conducted on the concept of passion and have focused on a host of cognitive, affective, behavioral, relational, and performance outcomes experienced within the realms of hundreds of activities conducted in both our own as well as other laboratories. In general, such research reveals that harmonious passion predicts more adaptive outcomes than obsessive passion. In the present paper, I focus exclusively on research on the role of passion in psychological well-being (see Vallerand 2010, for research on other types of outcomes).

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