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On the Role of Passion in Performance


  • This research program was supported by grants from the Fonds pour la formation de Chercheurs et l'Aide à la Recherche (FCAR) and the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to the first author and to SSHRC fellowships to the second, third, and seventh authors.

concerning this article should be addressed to Robert J. Vallerand, Ph.D. Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social, Département de Psychologie à Université du Québec à Montréal P. O. Box. 8888, Station “Centre-ville” Montreal (Quebec), Canada H3C 3P8 Tel: (514) 987-4836. Fax: (514) 987-7953. E-mail:


ABSTRACT The present paper reports two studies designed to test the Dualistic Model of Passion with regard to performance attainment in two fields of expertise. Results from both studies supported the Passion Model. Harmonious passion was shown to be a positive source of activity investment in that it directly predicted deliberate practice (Study 1) and positively predicted mastery goals which in turn positively predicted deliberate practice (Study 2). In turn, deliberate practice had a direct positive impact on performance attainment. Obsessive passion was shown to be a mixed source of activity investment. While it directly predicted deliberate practice (Study 1) and directly predicted mastery goals (which predicted deliberate practice), it also predicted performance-avoidance and performance-approach goals, with the former having a tendency to facilitate performance directly, and the latter to directly negatively impact on performance attainment (Study 2). Finally, harmonious passion was also positively related to subjective well-being (SWB) in both studies, while obsessive passion was either unrelated (Study 1) or negatively related to SWB (Study 2). The conceptual and applied implications of the differential influences of harmonious and obsessive passion in performance are discussed.