Intellectual Giftedness and Multidimensional Perfectionism: a Meta-Analytic Review

  • Johannes StrickerEmail author
  • Susanne Buecker
  • Michael Schneider
  • Franzis Preckel


There are different views on whether perfectionism is a characteristic of intellectually gifted students. Over the last decades, comparative studies of intellectually gifted and non-gifted students have produced inconsistent results. This heterogeneity in findings might be explained by underpowered studies and the multidimensional nature of perfectionism, comprising two broader dimensions: perfectionistic concerns and perfectionistic strivings. Whereas perfectionistic concerns are clearly maladaptive, perfectionistic strivings frequently positively relate to academic and psychological adjustment. We meta-analytically aggregated 32 effect sizes from 10 comparative studies (N=4340) to investigate to what extent intellectually gifted and non-gifted students differ in perfectionistic concerns and perfectionistic strivings. Intellectually gifted students displayed equal levels of perfectionistic concerns compared to non-gifted students (g=−0.117, 95% CI [−0.337, 0.103], p=.252) but displayed elevated levels of perfectionistic strivings (g=0.332, 95% CI [0.092, 0.572], p=.012). The magnitude of the effect sizes indicates that perfectionism is not a core characteristic of giftedness. In particular, giftedness is not related to inherently maladaptive forms of perfectionism.


Perfectionism Giftedness Research synthesis Meta-analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TrierTrierGermany
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentRuhr University BochumBochumGermany

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