The psychology of passion

Psychology guest lecturer Robert Vallerand proposes passion can be harmonious and obsessive, but it also makes life worth living.


Vallerand will be offering his perspectives on the “Psychology of Passion”: In Search of What Makes People’s Lives Most Worth Living” at a lecture presented by The University of Western Ontario Psychology Department on Friday, Jan. 16.


He is a professor of Social Psychology and Director of the Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social in the Department of Psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal.  Vallerand, who was President of the Canadian Psychological Association for 2007, is well known for his work on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. His recent research focuses on passion about daily activities.


For centuries, philosophers and writers have aspired to understand passion’s sources, its ramifications, and its role in our lives. Recently, Vallerand and his colleagues have proposed a new conceptualization of passion. Passion is defined as a strong inclination or desire for a self-defining activity that we love, value, and spend a considerable amount of time on. He will talk about two types of passion; a harmonious and an obsessive passion.