Perfectionism in young musicians: Relations with motivation, effort, achievement, and distress

Stoeber, Joachim and Eismann, Ulrike (2007) Perfectionism in young musicians: Relations with motivation, effort, achievement, and distress. Personality and Individual Differences , 43 (8). pp. 2182-2192. ISSN 0191-8869 . (doi: ) (Full text available)

PDF (Perfectionism in Young Musicians)
Download (137kB) Preview
Official URL


Many musicians experience anxiety and distress when performing, which has been related to perfectionism. Recent findings, however, show that only some facets of perfectionism are associated with anxiety and distress, whereas other facets are associated with positive characteristics and outcomes such as motivation and achievement. To investigate how different facets of perfectionism are related to motivation, effort, achievement, and distress in musicians, 146 young musicians completed measures of perfectionism (striving for perfection, negative reactions to imperfection, and perceived pressure to be perfect), intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, effort, achievement, and distress. Results showed that striving for perfection was associated with intrinsic motivation (intrinsic/identified reasons), higher effort, and higher achievement. Whereas perceived pressure from music teachers was also associated with intrinsic motivation (identified reasons only), negative reactions to imperfection were associated with extrinsic motivation and higher distress. The findings demonstrate that perfectionism in musicians has both positive and negative sides. While negative reactions to imperfection are clearly unhealthy, striving for perfection may be regarded as a healthy pursuit of excellence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: perfectionism; musicians; motivation; effort; achievement; anxiety; distress
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Joachim Stoeber
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2008 12:58 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 14:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year