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Perfectionism, personality, and affective experiences: New insights from revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory

Stoeber, J. & Corr, P. J. (2015). Perfectionism, personality, and affective experiences: New insights from revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 86, pp. 354-359. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.06.045


Previous studies have linked perfectionism to differences in reinforcement sensitivity, but findings have been mixed. The present study explored the relationships between three forms of perfectionism (self-oriented, other-oriented, socially prescribed) and components of the revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality in relation to the experience of positive and negative affect. In a sample of 388 university students, we found consistent evidence of significant bivariate and semipartial correlations controlling for the overlap between the three forms of perfectionism: self-oriented perfectionism showed positive relationships with the Behavioral Approach System (BAS), the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS), and the Fight-Flight-Freeze System (FFFS); other-oriented perfectionism showed a negative relationship with the BIS (and was unrelated to the FFFS); and socially prescribed perfectionism showed positive relationships with the BIS and BAS impulsiveness, and a negative relationship with BAS goal-drive persistence (and was unrelated to the FFFS). Furthermore, mediation analyses indicated that the reinforcement sensitivity components (BIS and BAS, but not FFFS) explained differences in how the three forms of perfectionism predicted recent positive and negative affect. These findings open up new empirical avenues in suggesting that fundamental emotion-motivational systems play a key role in the relationship of perfectionism and affective experiences.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Perfectionism; Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory; Affect; Mediation analyses
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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