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- Jan 2018
Psychologists used to talk about perfectionism as though it were unidimensional — only directed from the self to the self. That’s still the colloquial usage, what we usually mean when we say someone’s a perfectionist. But in the last few decades, researchers have found it productive to broaden the concept. Curran and Hall rely on a multidimensional definition, encompassing three types of perfectionism: self-oriented, other-oriented, socially prescribed. Self-oriented perfectionism is the tendency to hold oneself to an unrealistically high standard, while other-oriented perfectionism means having unrealistic expectations of others. But “socially prescribed perfectionism is the most debilitating of the three dimensions of perfectionism,” Curran and Hall contend.