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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Jun;84(6):1303-25.

The interpersonal expression of perfection: perfectionistic self-presentation and psychological distress.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


A concept involving the interpersonal expression of perfection, perfectionistic self-presentation, is introduced. It is argued that perfectionistic self-presentation is a maladaptive self-presentational style composed of three facets: perfectionistic self-promotion (i.e., proclaiming and displaying one's perfection), nondisplay of imperfection (i.e., concealing and avoiding behavioral demonstrations of one's imperfection), and nondisclosure of imperfection (i.e., evading and avoiding verbal admissions of one's imperfection). Several studies involving diverse samples demonstrate that perfectionistic self-presentation is a valid and reliable construct and a consistent factor in personal and interpersonal psychological distress. It is argued that the need to promote one's perfection or the desire to conceal one's imperfection involves self-esteem regulation in the interpersonal context.

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