Is perfectionism curable?

Apr 17, 2016

I began my research with one basic question, what is perfectionism? To my surprise, I have many more questions now and a much wider view on the topic and the seriousness of the condition. As of now, my overall research question is, can perfectionism be cured and how does one accumulate this condition?

Throughout the past week on EBSCO, I have come across many sources and stories worth sharing. My favorite article I read was Anja Achtziger and Bayer Ute's article, "Self-Control Mediates The Link Between Perfectionism And Stress" To begin, in Achtziger and Ute's article they explain, "Perfectionistic concerns capture negative feelings of discrepancies between one’s expectations and one’s results, concerns over mistakes, doubts about actions, and concerns of socially prescribed perfectionism [while,] perfectionistic strivings capture facets of perfectionism that are linked to perfectionistic standards, such as high personal standards, self-oriented striving for perfectionism, and striving for excellence." As far as perfectionist concerns go, "discrepancy was positively related to an external locus of control (Rotter 1954) meaning that indi- viduals with high levels of discrepancy believe that their fate is determined by chance or outside forces beyond their own control (Periasamy and Ashby 2002). This can lead to feelings of helplessness and loss of control about one’s own life." (Achtziger and Ute) Additionally they talked about how perfectionistic strivings were also shown to be related to psychological adjustment and they observed that students with high standards -the ones with high academic performance and incredible extracurriculars- are more likely to have this striving as a motivator. This article was much less intense than the story I wrote about on my previous discussion. This story tells more about using perfectionistic ways as a motivator and goal, rather than having this phenomenon risk your life. They conclude by saying, "this finding implied that deficits in cognitive emotion regulation might be responsible for the positive link between socially prescribed perfectionism and psychological distress." (Achtziger and Ute)


Nice description of your

Submitted by Amy_Cremer on Thu, 2016-04-21 12:06.

Nice description of your topic. I really identify with this because I believe that I am a perfectionist and it inhibits me at times in finishing school to, what I believe, is the best of my ability. I have always heard of the effects of extreme perfectionism, but have never really seen the ways it can be helped and addressed as your research and you described. Well done!

I wish.....

eric_yu2001's picture
Submitted by eric_yu2001 on Wed, 2016-04-27 22:24.

I really wish I was a perfectionist. Sometimes I am one when I clean my room and stuff, but I never got the feeling of being.. perfect on something.

Perfectionism is curable, just teach someone to become lazy. As I have been through many addictions before, like video games Rubik's cubes, I could be temporarily cured from it, then go back on it. I believe that addiction and perfectionism belong in the same group, so I would argue it is possible. It's just a lot of work to force someone to do what they don't want to do, and I wouldn't really be interested to find a cure for perfectionism.