Quest for Perfection: Avoiding Guilt or Avoiding Shame?

Cognitive researchers have found perfectionism to be a major feature in obsessive-compulsive disorders and depression (Beck, 1976; Burns, 1980; Burns & Beck, 1978; Ellis, 1962; Meichenbaum, 1974; McFall & Wollersheim, 1979). Several cognitive styles are characteristic of those who strive compulsively and unremittingly toward goals beyond reach and reason (in contrast to a healthy pursuit of excellence: see Hamachek, 1978 and Pacht, 1984).

Note: This article is quite technical and is best suited for those with an academic background in psychological theory.

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