This article reports the results of a preliminary study testing the model of personal determinants of workaholism. In particular, the aim of this study was to identify factors and mechanisms responsible for work addiction.The Polish adaptation of the 'Work Addiction Risk Test' authored by Robinson and Phillips was used to assess workaholism (Wojdylo, 2005). The social approval was assessed with the 'Questionnaire of Social Approval' (Drwal & Wilczynska, 1980). The level of autodetermination was measured with the Ozarowski 'Personality Questionnaire' and the discrepancies within the self-concept (actual self own versus ought self other) were assessed with a scale designed by Wojdylo (2004). The level of emotional intensity was assessed with the Scale of Positive and Negative Affect PANAS (Watson et al., 1988), in a Polish adaptation by Brzozowski, whereas the orientation towards aims achievement was measured with the questionnaire authored by Elliot and Church (1997). Statistic analyses revealed that the extrinsic motivation (attainment of favorable judgments of competence, the need for social approval in the domain of competence-related behaviors) and the motivation to avoid failure (avoiding unfavorable judgments of competence) were particularly associated with a workaholic activity. Workaholism was positively related to self-determination in the domain of intelectual competence-related behaviors and negatively to self-determination in the domain of emotional competence-related behaviors. The results also revealed that the best predictors of work addiction (among 5 variables used in the regression model) were negative affect and energetic arousal. This study shows that the mechanism responsible for workaholism is regulated by the orientation towards aims achievement that includes a simultaneous need to avoid unfavorable judgements (e.g. failure) as well as a need to attain favorable judgments (e.g. judgements of high competence). The relationship between workaholism and the high level of negative affects and the energetic arousal suggests that workaholism may be a strategy aiming to reduce negative affect and to maximize energetic arousal. These results also implicate that positive affect as well as energetic arousal are two categories distinguishing a healthy form of the engagement in work (work enthusiasm) from its pathological form (workaholism).