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ERIC Number: EJ1114005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0734-2829
The Importance of Item Wording: The Distinction Between Measuring High Standards versus Measuring Perfectionism and Why It Matters
Blasberg, Jonathan S.; Hewitt, Paul L.; Flett, Gordon L.; Sherry, Simon B.; Chen, Chang
Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, v34 n7 p702-717 Oct 2016
In the current research, we illustrate the impact that item wording has on the content of personality scales and how differences in item wording influence empirical results. We present evidence indicating that items in certain scales used to measure "adaptive" perfectionism fail to capture the disabling all-or-nothing approach that is synonymous with the individual who is driven to attain perfection. Original and modified versions of two perfectionism measures of high personal standards and modified perfectionistic standards versions of these scales were administered to three samples of participants. A series of analyses established that item wording does indeed matter. In particular, our results differed for a modified version of the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised when the focus was on a conceptualization and assessment of perfectionism that is fundamentally different from conscientious striving. The current findings are discussed in terms of their implications for scale construction and item wording in general and for the measurement of perfectionism in particular. The specific implications of these findings are examined in terms of understanding dysfunctional perfectionism and the current debate about whether certain aspects of perfectionism are adaptive versus maladaptive.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: NEO Personality Inventory; Beck Anxiety Inventory; Beck Depression Inventory; Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A