The Perfectionism & Psychotherapy Lab conducts research to investigate trait perfectionism, its correlates, and associated psychopathology.

Perfectionism is a multidimensional personality style that is associated with a large number of psychological, interpersonal, and achievement-related difficulties. It is not a disorder, but a vulnerability factor that produces problems for children, adolescents, and adults. People often confuse perfectionism with achievement striving or conscientiousness. Whereas achievement striving and conscientiousness involve appropriate and tangible expectations and produce a sense of satisfaction and rewards, perfectionism involves inappropriate levels of expectations and intangible goals (i.e., perfection) and a constant lack of satisfaction, irrespective of performance.

Perfectionism is a chronic source of stress, often leaving people feeling like failures, even when other people see them as successful. Perfectionistic individuals require themselves to be perfect. This constant expectation is a source of stress and pressure and contributes to maladaptive ways of coping.