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Perfectionism: A Motivational Perspective

Stoeber, Joachim and Damian, Lavinia and Madigan, Daniel J. (2017) Perfectionism: A Motivational Perspective. In: Stoeber, Joachim, (ed.) The psychology of perfectionism: Theory, research, applications. Routledge, pp. 19-43

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Abstract

The chapter presents a review of the research literature examining perfectionism from a motivational perspective. Taking the two-factor theory of perfectionism—differentiating the two higher-order dimensions of perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns—as a basis, we present analyses of the differential relationships that the two dimensions show with key motivational constructs focusing on achievement motivation and self-determination theory. As regards achievement motivation, we examine the relationships with achievement motives (hope of success and fear of failure) and achievement goals (task and ego goals, 2 × 2 and 3 × 2 achievement goals). As regards self-determination theory, we examine the relationships with autonomous and controlled motivation and with the different regulatory styles associated with intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation. Based on the findings of our review, we propose that the differential motivational qualities of perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns are important to understand why perfectionism is a “double-edged sword” that may energize or paralyze people, motivating some perfectionists to engage and others to disengage. We conclude that perfectionism research may profit from seeing perfectionism from a motivational perspective, perhaps even regard perfectionism as a motive disposition (need for perfection) whereby perfectionistic strivings represent the approach-oriented and autonomous aspects, and perfectionistic concerns the avoidance-oriented and controlled aspects.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: "This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The psychology of perfectionism: Theory, research, applications on 21/08/2017 available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Psychology-of-Perfectionism-Theory-Research-Applications/Stoeber/p/book/9781138691032"
Status: Published
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
School/Department: School of Sport
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1950

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