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The Effects Of Reaching For Perfectionism

1044 words - 5 pages

Perfection has been a topic that people have pondered for centuries now. Some may even argue that it is something about human nature that causes us to think about and strive for perfection. This thought continues to stand firm in modern day society. We live in a world filled with digitized perfection. Because of magazines and photoshop the adverse effects of perfectionism have become adherently clear. We have seen a decline in self esteem and an incline in anxiety disorders in the passing years. Some point a finger at media constantly displaying pictures of models edited to look like nothing less than perfect. According to Merriam Webster's online dictionary the medical definition for perfectionism is, “a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially : the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness (Webster).” With such an unattainable disposition towards ones goals it is no surprise that problems may occur. Nonetheless, what happens when perfectionism is paired with another personality traits. Is it possible that such a paring could lead to perfectionism being less counter intuitive? Or could pairing perfectionism with the wrong trait cause devastating effects like depression, anxiety disorders , and eating disorders?
Though I would not doubt the accuracy of the definition of perfectionism stated above I also cannot deny the fact that there is more to perfection than that. This thought is supported by the multidimensional perfectionism scale. The MPS is a scale that assess the domains of perfectionism and splits it into three groups. The first is self-oriented perfectionism. This style of perfectionism is distinguishable by the perfectionistic motivation which happens to be the self. Others-oriented perfectionism is very different from self-oriented perfectionism due to whom the perfection is expected from. Though self-oriented perfectionist expect themselves to be perfect other-oriented perfectionist are the exact opposite. They expect perfection out of other people (app). The style the seems to stand out the most is socially prescribed perfectionism. This style differs from the others because the motivation to be perfect is not a person but the expectations of those around the perfectionist (Hewitt & Fleet, 1991). Theses individual differences cause different correlations to occur with perfectionism and the Big five.
I have mentioned the Big five quite a bit through out this paper. The Big five theory is one of the most dominate theories in personality psychology today. The big five are five domains of personality(pages). Some people refer to these five domains as O.C.E.A.N. O.C.E.A.N refers to openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion. agreeableness, and neuroticism. These five traits are very broad and are exhibited on a spectrum. When it comes to openness to experience and...

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