Stoeber, Joachim and Yang, Hongfei
Perfectionism and emotional reactions to perfect and flawed achievements: Satisfaction and pride only when perfect.
Personality and Individual Differences, 49
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Perfectionists have excessively high standards and thus are prone to experience dissatisfaction and embarrassment. But what if they achieve perfection? The present study investigated in a sample of 194 university students how self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism predicted emotional reactions (satisfaction, dissatisfaction, pride, embarrassment) to imagined situations in which students achieved either perfect or flawed outcomes. Self-oriented perfectionism showed positive correlations with satisfaction and pride after perfect outcomes, and positive correlations with dissatisfaction and embarrassment after flawed outcomes. In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionism showed positive correlations with dissatisfaction after both perfect and flawed outcomes. Moreover, socially prescribed perfectionism moderated the relationship of self-oriented perfectionism with satisfaction and pride after perfect outcomes: Self-oriented perfectionism predicted higher satisfaction and pride only in students with low levels of socially prescribed perfectionism. The findings show that perfectionists high in self-oriented perfectionism, but low in socially prescribed perfectionism may experience more pride and greater satisfaction than nonperfectionists, but only when they achieve perfection.
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