Perfectionism, Fear of Failure, and the Relationship to Emotional Affect
Perfectionism is an individual’s proclivity towards accomplishing tasks with no errors or mistakes, sometimes to an obsessive level. Additionally, fear of failure (FF) is a measurement of a person’s aversiveness towards failing a task. Previous research has shown that certain subscales of perfectionism predict differing levels of fear of failure (e.g., concern over mistakes subscale predicts high fear of failure, while personal standards subscale predicts low fear of failure; Sagar & Stoeber, 2009; Stoeber & Becker, 2008). The current study examined participants’ FF or perfectionism through use of the Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory and the Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, respectively (PFAI; Conroy, 2003; Sport-MPS; Dunn et al., 2006). Individuals were grouped based on sporting experience (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Analyses revealed that individuals with advanced levels of experience in sporting competitions scored the lowest on subscales measuring both perfectionism and fear of failure when compared to participants with beginner to intermediate experience. Results suggest that individuals with more years of sporting experience may possess more confidence and hold higher self esteem in their athletic abilities due to their high level of experience.