Perfectionism and Performance

Joachim Stoeber

in The Oxford Handbook of Sport and Performance Psychology

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199731763
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Perfectionism and Performance

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Perfectionism is a personality disposition related to individual differences in performance in sport, school, and other areas of life where performance, tests, and competition play a major role. This chapter discusses the importance of differentiating two main dimensions of perfectionism—perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns—when examining the relationships between perfectionism and performance in sport, education, music competitions, aptitude tests, and laboratory tasks. The chapter presents studies showing that perfectionistic strivings are positively associated with performance and predict higher performance beyond people's general aptitude and previous performance level. In contrast, perfectionistic concerns are not consistently negatively associated with performance. To conclude the chapter, implications for applied psychology are discussed, as are open questions for future research regarding issues such as the development of perfectionism, performance and efficiency, and gender differences.

Keywords: Perfectionism; performance; sport; training; competition; students; grade point average; achievement; effort; general aptitude

Article.  9145 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Health Psychology ; Social Psychology

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