Self-Monitoring of Mistakes Among Subjects High and Low in Perfectionistic Concern over Mistakes1

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Subjects high and low in perfectionistic concern over mistakes (CM; Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990) monitored their mistakes daily to test several hypotheses about the nature of mistakes among perfectionists. High-CM subjects did not report a greater number of mistakes, nor were the mistakes reported by high- and low-CM subjects different in quality, based on ratings by independent judges. However, there were differences in personal reactions to mistakes, perceptions of the seriousness of mistakes, beliefs about other peoples' reactions to mistakes, and rumination about mistakes. High-CM subjects reacted more strongly and more negatively to their mistakes. The specific nature of these findings and implications for cognitive-behavioral treatment of perfectionism are discussed.

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