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How Other-Oriented Perfectionism Differs from Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism

Abstract

Over the past 20 years we have gained a comprehensive understanding of self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism, but our understanding of other-oriented perfectionism (OOP)—and how it differs from the other two forms of perfectionism—is still underdeveloped. Two studies with university students are presented examining OOP’s relationships with social goals, the dark triad, the HEXACO personality dimensions, and altruism. OOP showed unique positive relationships with narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy and unique negative relationships with nurturance, intimacy, and social development goals. Furthermore it showed unique relationships with social dominance goals (positive) and emotionality, agreeableness, and altruism (negative) dependent on the OOP measure used. The findings suggest that OOP is a “dark” form of perfectionism associated with antisocial and narcissistic personality characteristics.

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Notes

  1. Note that the 2004 version of the MPS is the same as the 1991 version except for a minor variation in Item 3 of the other-oriented perfectionism subscale (1991: “It is not important that the people close to me are successful,” reverse-scored; 2004: “It is not important that the people I am close to are successful,” reverse-scored). In the present study, I used the 2004 version.

  2. I am indebted to an anonymous reviewer for making this suggestion.

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Correspondence to Joachim Stoeber.

Appendix

Appendix

Other-Oriented Perfectionism, 1990 Scale (OOP-90; Hewitt and Flett 1990): Items

  1. 1.

    If I do not set very high standards for people I know, they are likely to end up second-rate people.

  2. 2.

    I think less of people I know if they make mistakes.

  3. 3.

    If someone I know cannot do something really well, they shouldn’t do it at all.

  4. 4.

    I cannot help getting upset if someone I know makes mistakes.

  5. 5.

    It is shameful for people that I know to display weakness or foolish behavior.

  6. 6.

    An average performance by someone I know is unsatisfactory.

  7. 7.

    When someone I know fails at something important, it means they are probably less of a person.

  8. 8.

    If I scold others for their failure to live up to expectations, it will help them in the future.

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Stoeber, J. How Other-Oriented Perfectionism Differs from Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 36, 329–338 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-013-9397-7

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Keywords

  • Perfectionism
  • Social goals
  • Dark triad
  • HEXACO
  • Narcissism
  • Machiavellianism
  • Psychopathy
  • Agreeableness
  • Emotionality
  • Altruism