Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Department of Psychology


Bryan K. Saville

Tracy Zinn

Monica Reis-Bergan


According to the Dualistic Model of Passion, passion for an activity entails valuing, liking, and spending time on an activity. The Dualistic Model also posits there are two types of passion for activities: harmonious passion, which is typically related to positive psychological outcomes, and obsessive passion, which is typically related to negative psychological outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to examine the possible links between college students’ passion for academic activities and unhealthy behaviors including excessive drinking and exercising; not getting enough sleep; and having disordered eating. Based on previous research, we predicted that obsessive passion would be positively associated with problematic health behaviors, and harmonious passion would be negatively associated with the same health behaviors. We found that obsessive passion positively predicted scores on measures of excessive drinking, exercise addiction, and disordered eating but was unrelated to a measure of sleep deprivation. Harmonious passion, in contrast, was negatively associated with excessive drinking behavior and sleep deprivation but was unrelated to exercise addiction and disordered eating. These findings provide support for the Dualistic Model of Passion by showing that students who are obsessively passionate about their activities are more likely to engage in problematic health behaviors, and thus may experience more negative outcomes, than students who are harmoniously passionate about their academics.



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