EPPP Studies and the Crucial Difference Between Dedication and Workaholism

Has your dedication to the EPPP become an unhealthy obsession? Of course, passing the EPPP takes dedicated study, as if it were a part time job. When it comes to work, however, there is a difference between dedication and workaholism or, in this case, study-aholism.

Authors, Marjan J. Gorgievski and Arnold B. Bakker describe the difference between work engagement and workaholism in their article Passion for Work: work engagement versus workaholism.

Clarifying the difference between a healthy dedication and an unhealthy obsession can help you better understand your relationship with your EPPP studies.

Gorgievski and Bakker point out and define the one thing necessary to thrive at any job: passion.  

“Passion is the ‘enthusiasm, joy, and even zeal that come from the energetic and unflagging pursuit of a worthy, challenging and uplifting purpose.


Passion towards activities has been defined as a strong inclination toward an activity that people like, find important and in which they spend time and energy on a regular basis.”

The key components, then, of having the passion it takes to pass the EPPP are:

  • A strong inclination towards the subject matter
  • A liking for the field of psychology
  • Finding importance in the field
  • Spending time and energy working towards a career in that field (i.e. studying for the EPPP)

Passion is a good thing. It’s what motivates those early mornings and late nights of studying. But, there is a difference between what’s healthy and what’s not when it comes to passion. Gorgievski and Bakker call this “harmonious passion vs. obsessive passion.”

“In the case of harmonious passion, the person controls the activity, and the activity occupies a significant, but not overpowering space in people’s lives. In contrast, in the case of obsessive passion, the activity controls the person, because of which this activity eventually takes disproportionate space in the person’s identity and causes conflicts with the other life domains.”

Harmonious passion towards becoming a licensed psychologist would include dedicated EPPP studying that does not overpower your life. Whereas obsessive passion would mean your identity hinged upon your EPPP success as well as EPPP studies conflicting with important areas of life such as family.

The two motivational concepts behind these forms of passion are what we have mentioned as work engagement and workaholism.

“[…] work engagement, which is theoretically linked to harmonious passion […] is defined as ‘a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption’”

[…] workaholism, which can be conceptually linked to obsessive passion […] [is] based on these criteria: excessive working and compulsive working.”

Simply put, work engagement:

  • Includes “the positive affective (fun) component”
  • Has a positive correlation with work performance
  • Does not come at a high cost. For example, people who are work engaged “will quit their passionate activities when the cost becomes too high.”

On the contrary, workaholism:

  • Includes a compulsive drive
  • Has an ambiguous correlation with work performance
  • Comes at a high cost. For example, workaholics “will continue at all costs, and will not shift their focus towards recuperation.”

In relation to your EPPP studies, are you experiencing work engagement or workaholism?


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