Moral perfectionism and moral values, virtues, and judgments: Further investigations

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Stoeber, Joachim ; Yang, Hongfei (2016)

In a first psychological investigation of moral perfectionism, Yang, Stoeber, and Wang (2015) adapted items from the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale to differentiate perfectionistic personal moral standards and concern over moral mistakes. Examining a sample of Chinese students, Yang et al. found that personal moral standards showed unique positive relationships with moral values, virtues, and judgments, whereas concern over moral mistakes did not. The present study aimed to replicate Yang et al.’s findings in a sample of Western students (N = 243), additionally including measures of moral identity and moral disengagement. Furthermore, the study examined whether moral perfectionism explained variance in moral attitudes beyond general perfectionism. Results largely replicated Yang et al.’s findings. Personal moral standards (but not concern over moral mistakes) showed unique positive relationships with moral values, virtues, and judgments and a unique negative relationship with moral disengagement. Furthermore, moral perfectionism explained significant variance in moral attitudes beyond general perfectionism. The present findings suggest that moral perfectionism is a personality characteristic that is relevant in both Asian and Western cultures and explains individual differences in moral attitudes beyond general perfectionism.
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