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Keywords:

  • perfectionism;
  • self-conscious emotions;
  • achievement;
  • success;
  • failure;
  • pride;
  • embarrassment;
  • cross-cultural comparisons

Abstract

Regarding self-conscious emotions, studies have shown that different forms of perfectionism show different relationships with pride, shame, and embarrassment depending on success and failure. What is unknown is whether these relationships also show cultural variations. Therefore, we conducted a study investigating how self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism predicted pride and embarrassment after success and failure by comparing 363 British and 352 Japanese students. Students were asked to respond to a set of scenarios where they imagined achieving either perfect (success) or flawed (failure) results. In both British and Japanese students, self-oriented perfectionism positively predicted pride after success and embarrassment after failure, whereas socially prescribed perfectionism predicted embarrassment after success and failure. Moreover, in Japanese students, socially prescribed perfectionism positively predicted pride after success and self-oriented perfectionism negatively predicted pride after failure. The findings have implications for our understanding of perfectionism, indicating that the perfectionism–pride relationship not only varies between perfectionism dimensions but may also show cultural variations. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.