Standard Article


  1. Paul L. Hewitt1,
  2. Gordon L. Flett2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0658

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Hewitt, P. L. and Flett, G. L. 2010. Perfectionism. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of British Columbia, Canada

  2. 2

    York University, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Perfectionism is a broad and multifaceted personality construct that involves the requirement of perfection or the appearance of perfection for the self or for others. This personality style is thought to incorporate both trait components that reflect a stable and enduring need for the self or others to be perfect and self-presentational facets that reflect the interpersonal expression of perfection or the need to appear perfect (Hewitt & Flett, 1991; Hewitt et al., 2003). It is generally thought that perfectionism is composed of motivational, interpersonal, behavioral, and cognitive processing features (Flett & Hewitt, 2002). At the same time, it is important to clarify what perfectionism is not: it is not obsessiveness, orderliness, rigidity, conscientiousness, or achievement motivation. Although some of these features can at times coexist with perfectionism, they do not constitute perfectionism.


  • perfectionism;
  • perfectionistic behavior