The Physical Appearance Perfectionism Scale: Development and Preliminary Validation



Eight studies with data from 2316 students are presented describing the development and preliminary validation of the Physical Appearance Perfectionism Scale (PAPS), a brief measure with two subscales: Worry About Imperfection and Hope For Perfection. Results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the measure’s two-dimensional structure. Moreover, correlation analyses provided first evidence for the two subscales’ differential validity: Worry About Imperfection showed negative correlations with positive self-perceptions of one’s appearance (e.g., appearance self-esteem) and positive correlations with maladaptive concerns aspects of perfectionism, physical appearance concerns (e.g., body image disturbances), and body weight control whereas Hope For Perfection showed positive correlations with positive striving aspects of perfectionism, positive self-perceptions, and impression management. In addition, all PAPS scores showed high reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) and temporal stability (test-retest). Overall the findings suggest that the PAPS is a reliable and valid instrument to assess positive and negative aspects of physical appearance perfectionism.


Perfectionism Physical appearance Body image Social anxiety Self-esteem Dieting 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Behavioral SciencesXixi Campus, Zhejiang UniversityHangzhou CityPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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