Perfectionism and Goal Setting Behaviors: Optimizing Opportunities for Success and Avoiding the Potential for Failure Academic Article uri icon


  • Examined the role of positive striving and evaluative concerns, two dimensions of perfectionism, on goal setting behavior subsequent to success and failure feedback. Ninety- six female undergraduates completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and Center for Epidemiological Studies—Depression Scale and then participated in 5 trials of a computer game. Participants were randomized to a success or failure feedback condition. After controlling for baseline depressive symptoms, participants high in positive striving and low in evaluative concerns gradually increased their goal setting over time, regardless of type of feedback. In contrast, participants high in evaluative concerns and low in positive striving increased their goal setting after success feedback and decreased their goal setting after failure feedback. These patterns became more pronounced over time.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012