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Interest vs. Passion: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 11, 2023
Interest is a feeling of curiosity or concern about something, while passion is a strong, intense enthusiasm or desire for something.

Key Differences

Interest is often a milder, more cerebral engagement with a subject or activity. Passion, in contrast, is characterized by a deep, emotional commitment and intense enthusiasm.
An interest can be temporary or fluctuating, sometimes sparked by curiosity or a specific situation. Passion is typically long-lasting and consistent, often deeply ingrained in a person's identity.
Interests may influence preferences or hobbies, while passions often drive major life decisions, career choices, and long-term goals.
Interest usually involves a level of engagement that is exploratory or casual. Passion, however, often leads to a high level of involvement, sometimes to the point of obsession or profound dedication.
Interests can be developed through exposure, education, or peer influence. Passions often develop from a deeper place within an individual, sometimes inexplicably or naturally aligning with one's innate talents or values.

Comparison Chart

Emotional Intensity

Mild and intellectual
Strong and emotional


Can be temporary or fluctuating
Long-lasting and consistent

Influence on Choices

Influences hobbies and preferences
Drives life decisions and career choices

Level of Involvement

Generally exploratory or casual
Intense, often leading to deep dedication

Source of Development

Often developed through external factors
Emerges from internal inclinations and values

Interest and Passion Definitions


Interest can also mean a share in a company or business venture.
He bought a 20% interest in the tech startup.


In historical contexts, passion refers to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The artist depicted the Passion of Christ in his painting.


Interest is a feeling of wanting to learn more about something or to be involved in something.
He developed an interest in photography after taking a few classes.


Passion can also mean a state or outburst of strong emotion.
They argued with a passion that surprised their friends.


Interest is the state of wanting to know or learn about something or someone.
Her interest in ancient history led her to study archaeology.


Passion is a very strong feeling of love or enthusiasm, especially in the context of a relationship or hobby.
Her passion for painting was evident in every brushstroke.


Interest can refer to a quality that arouses curiosity or attention.
The mystery novel held her interest from start to finish.


Passion can be an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.
He pursued his passion for music despite the challenges.


In finance, interest is the money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money lent.
The bank offered an interest rate of 5% on its savings account.


Passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion.
His speech was full of passion about environmental conservation.


A state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something
An interest in sports.


Strong or powerful emotion
A crime of passion.


Something, such as a quality, subject, or activity, that evokes this mental state
Counts the theater among his interests.


A powerful emotion, such as anger or joy
A spirit governed by intense passions.


How is passion defined?

Passion is an intense enthusiasm or desire for something.

How do interests influence a person?

Interests can influence a person's hobbies, learning, and leisure activities.

Can interests be temporary?

Yes, interests can be temporary and change over time.

Is passion always enduring?

Passion is typically long-lasting, though it can evolve or change focus.

Can an interest turn into a passion?

Yes, an interest can evolve into a passion with increased involvement and emotional connection.

What drives a person's passion?

A person's passion is often driven by deep emotional connections and personal values.

Is passion always positive?

While often positive, passion can sometimes lead to negative outcomes if it becomes obsessive or harmful.

What does interest mean?

Interest refers to a feeling of curiosity or concern about something.

Can passion lead to stress?

If not balanced, passion can sometimes lead to stress or burnout.

Can interests be developed at any age?

Yes, interests can be developed and changed at any age.

How do people discover their interests?

Interests are often discovered through exploration, exposure, and learning.

Can a person have multiple interests?

Yes, it's common for people to have multiple and varied interests.

What impact does passion have on a person's life?

Passion can significantly impact life choices, career paths, and personal fulfillment.

Does passion require action?

Passion often involves active engagement and a high level of dedication.

Are interests influenced by external factors?

Interests can be shaped by external factors like culture, education, and social interactions.

Do interests require active participation?

Interests can vary from passive curiosity to active participation.

Is passion influenced by internal or external factors?

Passion is more often influenced by internal factors, such as personal inclinations and emotions.

Does passion change with age?

Passion can evolve or shift focus as a person grows and experiences life changes.

Is it possible to have more than one passion?

While less common, some people may have multiple passions.

How do interests benefit mental health?

Pursuing interests can contribute to mental well-being by providing enjoyment and relaxation.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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