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Behavior Research and Therapy

             This paper will describe the methods and results of the experiment on “Clinical Perfectionism: a cognitive-behavioral analysis,” published in the journal of Behavior Research and Therapy. An experiment researched by Roz Shafran, Zafra Cooper, and Christopher G. Fairburn. Published by Oxford University Press, in 2002. Pages 773-787.
             This experiment researches the depths of perfectionism and how it relates to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Perfectionism is an overdependence of self-evaluation; it also defines how someone dealing with perfectionism criticizes themselves and manages with failure. People that accomplish their goals find their target goal to be insufficient and re-evaluate their standards to a more demanding and sometimes impossible level (773). A definition is not completely clear, many clinicians argue about its exact definition, another explanation is described as a person who strains toward an impossible goal and measures their worth in accomplishments. Perfectionists have a tendency to fall into categories of procrastination, fear of failure, all-or-nothing mindset, and workaholism. Perfectionists believe that every problem has a solution and that even the tiniest mistake will have serious penalties.
             The cognitive processes that maintain perfectionism are selective attention; an alertness of what is wrong and what can be fixed instead of their successes. Perfectionism is now viewed as a multidimensional construct; because people dealing with this disease describe being over concerned with mistakes, placing considerable value on parents’ expectations, they also experience interpersonal aspects of difficulty. Multidimensional construct has lead to a method of measurement of perfectionism by scores on a self-report instrument; this instrument measures a broader range of characteristics of perfectionism (776). Perfectionism is correlated with a degree of psychopathology in levels of depression and social anxiety.