Drawing on the self-determination theory (SDT) framework and the dualistic model of passion, the current study sought to test a model in which psychological basic needs differently predicted harmonious and obsessive passion, which in turn lead to problematic behaviours and flow experience across two different screen-based activities (gaming and social network use) through two separate studies. Across all studies, the results showed that higher levels of needs frustration in general life are likely to promote higher levels of obsessive passion, which in turn foster higher levels of problematic behaviours. Conversely, higher levels of needs satisfaction are likely to promote higher levels of harmonious passion, which predict higher levels of flow experience. This study contributes to the understanding of the motivational pathways that characterise the engagement in screen-based activities and provides evidence that the psychological experience during the activity could lead to a positive or a negative outcome.
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