Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Always on my Mind: The Role of Automatic Thoughts in the Experience and Development of Passions

The present research explored how automatic thoughts about passions influence the ways in which people pursue them. Drawing from the dualistic model of passions and incentive-salience theory, I predicted that positive emotions experienced during an activity should facilitate positive automatic thoughts about that activity. Those thoughts should in turn facilitate wanting and build resources that increase the positive-emotion yield of subsequent behavior. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that people perceive more positive automatic thoughts about harmonious than obsessive passions. In Study 3, positive automatic thoughts mediated the effect of positive emotions on behavior. Studies 4 and 5 documented that positive automatic thoughts predict increases in harmonious passion over time and vice versa. Taken together, these findings characterize the role of automatic thoughts as they relate to the pursuit of passions in particular and desired outcomes in general.