Perfectionism in relation to attributions for success or failure
- Cite this article as:
- Flett, G.L., Hewitt, P.L., Blankstein, K.R. et al. Curr Psychol (1998) 17: 249. doi:10.1007/s12144-998-1010-y
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The present study examined the association between dimensions of perfectionism and attributions for success and failure. A sample of 124 students (40 males, 84 females) completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS) and the Multidimensional Multiattributional Causation Scale (MMCS). The MPS consists of three subscales measuring self-oriented perfectionism, other-oriented perfectionism, and socially pre-scribed perfectionism. The MMCS measures internal attributions (i.e., ability, effort) and external attributions (i.e., luck, contextual factors) for positive and negative hypo-thetical outcomes in the achievement and affiliation domains. The main finding of this study was that socially prescribed perfectionism was associated with a general ten-dency to attribute outcomes to external causes. This external attribution pattern was obtained for successes and failures in both the achievement and interpersonal spheres. Overall, the main results suggest that socially prescribed perfectionism is associated with perceptions of learned helplessness. The implications of these findings are dis-cussed.