Dimensions of perfectionism and irrational thinking
- Cite this article as:
- Flett, G.L., Hewitt, P.L., Blankstein, K.R. et al. J Rational-Emot Cognitive-Behav Ther (1991) 9: 185. doi:10.1007/BF01061229
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Several authors have suggested that perfectionism is associated with irrational thinking. The purpose of the present research was to test the hypothesis that various dimensions of perfectionism are related significantly to core irrational beliefs. In Study 1, 102 subjects completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS) and the Irrational Beliefs Test (IBT). The MPS provides assessments of self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism. Analyses revealed that self-oriented perfectionism was correlated positively with the IBT high self-expectations and perfect solutions subscales. Socially prescribed perfectionism was correlated significantly with a variety of irrational beliefs including high self-expectations, demand for social approval, dependency, blame proneness, and anxious overconcern. Other-oriented perfectionism was correlated with few irrational beliefs. In Study 2, 130 subjects completed the MPS and the Survey of Personal Beliefs, a new measure of core irrational beliefs. Analyses confirmed that all three perfectionism dimensions were associated with core irrational beliefs. It is concluded that the results constitute general support for the hypothesis that cognitive aspects are important in both personal and social components of perfectionism and that perfectionists are characterized by increased levels of irrational beliefs that may contribute to maladjustment. The findings are discussed in terms of the associations among perfectionism, irrational beliefs, and maladjustment.