Five separate studies examined the associations of self-criticism and self-oriented perfectionism with goal pursuit across a variety of domains. Although self-criticism has previously been shown to be related to diminished goal progress, a controversy remains regarding the potential association between aspects of "positive perfectionism," such as self-oriented perfectionism, and enhanced goal progress. The results of the five studies demonstrated a consistent pattern of negative association between self-criticism and goal progress. The results also showed a positive association between self-oriented perfectionism and goal progress when self-criticism was controlled. The important role of self-criticism for understanding the impact of perfectionistic concerns is highlighted by these results. Implications for the debate concerning the possible positive effects of perfectionistic strivings are also discussed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords goal pursuit, perfectionism, self-criticism
Persistent URL
Journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Powers, T.A. (Theodore A.), Koestner, R. (Richard), Zuroff, D.C. (David C.), Milyavskaya, M, & Gorin, A.A. (Amy A.). (2011). The effects of self-criticism and self-oriented perfectionism on goal pursuit. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(7), 964–975. doi:10.1177/0146167211410246