The role of self-esteem contingencies the distinction between obsessive and harmonious passion

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European Journal of Social Psychology, ISSN: 0046-2772, Vol: 41, Issue: 6, Page: 720-729

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Geneviève A. Mageau; Joëlle Carpentier; Robert J. Vallerand
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The Dualistic Model of Passion (Vallerand et al., 2003) shows that people can experience a harmonious or an obsessive passion toward an activity. Mageau and Vallerand (2007; Mageau et al., 2009) have argued that self-related processes, such as contingencies of self-worth, are central the distinction between the two types of passion. Specifically, it was proposed that people with an obsessive passion rely more heavily on their passionate activity to derive self-esteem than people with a harmonious passion such that they should experience self-esteem fluctuations as a function of their performances their passionate activity. This study tested this hypothesis. Using self-reports, results first showed that the more people have an obsessive passion the more they report experiencing self-esteem fluctuations that covary with their performances their passionate activity. contrast, people with a harmonious passion did not report experiencing more, or less, self-esteem fluctuations. Second, hierarchical linear modeling confirmed that, a real-life setting, the more people report an obsessive passion toward a card game, the greater is the impact of performance on their state self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that obsessive, but not harmonious, passion triggers contingencies between people's self-esteem and their passionate activity. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.