Home » News » Perfectionism + High Motivation = Workaholism

Perfectionism + High Motivation = Workaholism

Perfectionism + High Motivation = WorkaholismBeing a perfectionist has its ups and downs as new research discovers that one form of perfectionism coupled with being highly motivated at work, contributes directly to being a workaholic.

University of Kent’s Dr. Joachim Stoeber led a research team that explored the previously under-researched reasons why some people feel the need to work both excessively and compulsively.

Stoeber and his team researched the links between workaholism and two forms of perfectionism.

The first form of perfectionism is self-oriented perfectionism, whereby someone sets exceedingly high standards for themselves.

The second form of perfectionism is called socially prescribed perfectionism, whereby someone feels that others have high standards and that acceptance by others is conditional on fulfilling these standards.

Among their findings, they discovered that self-oriented perfectionists showed significantly higher levels of workaholism.

This was partly due to this group being motivated by a number of internal and external drivers — such as self-control and rewards — that push them towards workaholism. In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionists were not likely to become workaholics.

Said Stoeber: “Our findings suggest that self-oriented perfectionism and work motivation contribute to workaholism, whereas socially prescribed perfectionism does not.

“Our findings also suggest that workaholism in self-oriented perfectionists is driven by those types of motivation characterized by personal importance and ego involvement as well as being motivated by internal rewards and punishment.”

Source: University of Kent

Perfectionism + High Motivation = Workaholism

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Perfectionism + High Motivation = Workaholism. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.