Definition[ edit ] Perfectionists strain compulsively and unceasingly toward unattainable goals, and measure their self-worth by productivity and accomplishment. Perfectionists tend to be harsh critics of themselves when they fail to meet their standards. Normal vs. Hamachek in argued for two contrasting types of perfectionism, classifying people as tending towards normal perfectionism or neurotic perfectionism. Normal perfectionists are more inclined to pursue perfection without compromising their self-esteem, and derive pleasure from their efforts.

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Author manuscript; available in PMC Jun 1. Published in final edited form as: Published online Jun Smith, University of Kentucky: ude. Abstract The construct of perfectionism is related to many important outcome variables. The overarching aim of the present set of studies was to help clarify the specific unidimensional personality constructs that contribute to perfectionistic behavior. First, trained raters reliably sorted items from existing measures of perfectionism into nine dimensions.

An exploratory factor analysis, followed by a confirmatory factor analysis on an independent sample, resulted in a 9 scale, 61 item measure, called the Measure of Constructs Underlying Perfectionism M-CUP. The nine scales were internally consistent and stable across time, and they were differentially associated with relevant measures of personality in theoretically meaningful ways.

Keywords: perfectionism, personality traits, factor analysis, scale development Perfectionism is an important psychological construct. Numerous researchers have measured personality traits thought to underlie perfectionistic behavior, and there is a growing consensus that there are many different traits that contribute to such behavior Frost et al.

Examples of individual scales are those measuring high Personal Standards the tendency to set very high standards and to place importance on the achievement of those standards for self-evaluation: Frost et al. There are many others. The intent of the current study is to summarize, and build on, this existing research by developing a comprehensive, multidimensional tool that includes measures of each trait construct thought to contribute to perfectionistic behavior.

This work was based on the following premises. First, there are many different personality traits that contribute to perfectionistic behavior Frost et al. Second, the extensive existing research in this domain has likely identified the full range of relevant constructs: Our comprehensive instrument was developed to represent each identified personality trait in a single instrument. Fourth, it is necessary to distinguish between traits likely to contribute to perfectionistic behavior e.

Fifth, it is useful to distinguish between traits that are likely to contribute to perfectionistic behavior such as high Personal Standards and traits that have many different correlates, including perfectionistic behavior, but are unlikely to underlie perfectionism specifically such as Neuroticism. We proceeded as follows.

We examined the existing definitions of perfectionism, 15 existing measures of perfectionism, and the specific items in each measure. We identified nine different trait content domains that, we judged, reflected all of the personality traits underlying perfectionistic behavior represented in the existing instruments. We describe this process in more detail below. Trained raters sorted items from all existing measures of perfectionism onto those nine trait domains. We then constructed a new measure of perfectionism to measure those nine traits.

Doing so involved modifying existing items with the goal of maximizing the unidimensionality and representativeness of each item. We then subjected the items to exploratory factor analysis in one sample, refined items further, and then conducted a confirmatory factor analysis on a second sample.

Study One Method Measures In order to examine the different personality dimensions underlying perfectionistic behavior represented in the existing scales of perfectionism, the following scales, and the literature on these scales, were examined: Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale FMPS; Frost et al. Internal consistency of the subscales ranges from.

Internal consistencies range from. It consists of three scales: Discrepancy, High Standards, and Order, and internal consistency ranges from. Perfectionism Questionnaire PQ; Rheaume et al. It attempts to parse out obsessive-compulsive symptoms from its measurement of perfectionism. Internal consistency for the subscales ranges from. Internal consistency of the scale has been found to range from.

In the initial development of the scale, three factors emerged: Dependency, Self-Criticism, and Efficacy. For the present study, only items used in the Bagby et al.

For the present study, only the Perfectionism scale was used, which consists of 10 items. Internal consistency of the scale was. Internal consistencies for the four scales ranged from. For the present study, only the 15 items found to load on the perfectionism factor by Imber and colleagues were used; these items had an internal consistency of.

Internal consistency for the perfectionism facet was. It is composed of three factor analytically derived subscales: Perfectionistic Self-Promotion, Nondisplay of Imperfection, and Nondisclosure of Imperfection Hewitt, Flett, Sherry et al. Internal consistency for the subscales ranged from. It consists of one unidimensional factor Flett et al. Internal consistency was.

Eating Disorders Inventory-2 Perfectionism scale EDI; Garner, The EDI-2 is a self-report measure consisting of 8 scales measuring different aspects of eating disorder symptoms and eating disorder risk factors.

In the present study, only the Perfectionism scale was used. Procedure First, we conducted a review of each item on each existing perfectionism-related measure, to identify content domains reflecting personality traits likely to underlie perfectionistic behavior.

We understood a personality trait to be any enduring tendency in thinking, feeling, or behaving Allport, The first two authors reviewed the literature on the definition and measurement of perfectionism-related traits, considered the content of each item on the 15 scales, and from this made determinations of the trait content domains present in the 15 measures.

This step resulted in the consensual identification of 9 trait dimensions underlying perfectionistic behavior. The second step was to train three graduate student raters on the nine hypothesized dimensions and their definitions.

The raters were blind to which scales items originally came from, and also to which items were hypothesized to reflect each dimension. Raters were trained on one domain at a time.

After training on a domain, they rated each item from all 15 existing perfectionism scales on the domain they had just been trained on. After completing ratings on one domain, they were trained on another domain, and so on. Ratings were on a scale of 1 to 5, a rating of 5 implying that an item is prototypical of the dimension and a rating of 1 implying that an item does not seem related at all to the dimension. We then analyzed the rate of agreement among the raters using intra-class correlations.

We used a two-way mixed model and examined absolute agreement between raters. Results Item domains that were included First, we identified several dimensions underlying perfectionism on which we felt there was a general consensus in the literature, in that the dimension or a very similar dimension was described as a factor on several multidimensional measures of perfectionism, especially if the factor structure of those scales had been supported in the literature.

That process led to the identification of five dimensions: 1 High Standards, or the tendency to set high standards for oneself and to push oneself to work hard to attain those standards.

This dimension reflects typical items on the Other Oriented Perfectionism scale of the HMPS as well as the PI High Standards for Others scale; 4 Reactivity to Mistakes, or the tendency to experience negative affect in response to having made, or perceiving to have made, a mistake.

This dimension was identified following the recognition that items on several scales of perfectionism are reflective of dichotomous or all-or-none thinking. Each of these 9 dimensions fit the definition of a personality trait. Item domains that were excluded As described above, we initially identified several dimensions that we judged either did not reflect personality traits, but were rather precursors of traits, or that did not appear to underlie perfectionism.

These content domains have been shown to have a wide range of external correlates and were not judged by us to reflect specific personality dimensions underlying perfectionistic behavior, although they likely correlate with such dimensions. In addition, we did not include a dimension of perfectionistic cognitions, as defined by the PCI Flett et al. In a similar fashion, we considered the content of each item on the PSPS rather than the broad concept of perfectionistic self-presentation, as we felt that the items on the PSPS represented several content domains.

Items from each of these measures are represented on the 9 dimensions we identified. Agreement in Placing Items from Existing Perfectionism Scales onto the Nine Dimensions Intra-class correlations for the nine hypothesized dimensions were the following: High Standards:.

Thus, there was strong agreement among the raters in identifying the constructs represented by the items. Study One Discussion We identified nine trait content domains that were a represented in existing perfectionism measures and b judged to reflect personality traits likely to underlie perfectionistic behaviors, rather than causes or correlates of such traits.

Inter-rater agreement for each trait domain was. In conclusion, items from 15 existing measures of perfectionism were able to be reliably sorted onto the nine hypothesized personality traits relevant to perfectionism. Study Two: Part One The goal of the first part of study two was to construct a new measure of perfectionism which measures the nine traits that we hypothesize underlie perfectionistic behavior and to examine the internal validity of the new measure.

Participants were undergraduate psychology students taking part in a screening conducted for all psychology students. Demographic information was available for approximately half the sample, and indicated that Procedure Development of the item pool There were two considerations in choosing items.

First, based on the ratings made by the raters in study one, we considered items for each dimension that were rated to represent that dimension highly a rating of 5 on the 1 to 5 scale by at least one rater and were judged not to represent any other domain highly rated a 1 or 2 on all other domains by all raters.

Second, if two items were judged to be almost identical in content, only one item was chosen for inclusion. Based on these criteria, 72 items 8 per dimension were chosen. In other words, in rewriting items, we reworded parts of items that were judged to reflect content other than the trait dimension the item was felt to represent. In addition, because some dimensions had fewer than 8 items representing them, new items were written for these dimensions. This was done so that each dimension would be equally represented when entered into a factor analysis.

Because these new items had not previously been rated to represent each content domain and had not been used in previous measures of perfectionism, more than one item was written for each dimension for which new items were written. The items rewritten from other perfectionism scales and the new items resulted in an initial item pool consisting of 86 items. For the exploratory factor analysis, common factor analysis with oblique rotation was conducted, because it was not presumed that the underlying personality dimensions would be orthogonal to each other.

The best-fitting solution was chosen using the following criteria: eigenvalues greater than 1, scree plot indications that a set of factors is predominant, and confirmation that factors could not have emerged by chance through parallel analysis. Because a goal of the present study was to construct a scale measuring unidimensional traits that contribute to perfectionistic behavior, items were considered representative of an extracted factor if they loaded highly on their respective factor and not highly on other factors.

We considered an item to load on a factor if the loading was. Because item responses were on a five point scale, we also tested whether the EFA results were the same using polychoric correlations, rather than Pearson correlations. For the confirmatory factor analysis CFA on the second half of the sample, four fit indices were used: the Comparative Fix Index CFI and the Tucker-Lewis index TLI are relative fit indices and are based on a comparison of the chi-square value for the model with the chi-square value for a baseline model in which all variables are independent.

The other two are absolute fit indices: the root mean square error of approximation RMSEA reflects the discrepancy between the covariances implied by the model and the observed covariances per degree of freedom, and the standardized root mean square residual SRMR reflects the average discrepancy between the correlation matrices of the observed sample and the hypothesized model. Overall evaluation of model fit is made by considering the values of each of the four fit indices.

RMSEA values of. Because there were no significant differences between individuals who were missing data and those who were not missing data on any demographic variables, it was concluded that data were missing at random. Missing values were imputed using the expectation-maximization EM procedure Enders, The fourteen factors explained Eigenvalues of the first two factors extracted were

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Author manuscript; available in PMC Jun 1. Published in final edited form as: Published online Jun Smith, University of Kentucky: ude. Abstract The construct of perfectionism is related to many important outcome variables.


Multidimensional Perfectionism Test

Search Why Use This Test? This online Perfectionism Test is delivered to you free of charge and will allow you to obtain your scores on the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, as published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality. Validity and reliability. Empirical testing has shown the validity of the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale.


Clarifying the construct of perfectionism

Search Why Use This Test? This online Perfectionism Test is delivered to you free of charge and will allow you to obtain your scores on the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, as published in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality. Validity and reliability. Empirical testing has shown the validity of the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. The evidence has been published in scientific journals and the construct has been shown to have good scientific validity.

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