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Perfectionism Tendency and Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) on Tertiary Students’ in Malaysia

Updated: Apr 4, 2018

Rita Mardhatillah Umar Rauf

Ph.D. Student, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia


Despite the fact that almost all studies are done in western countries, this article explains perfectionism tendency and music performance anxiety (MPA) in a communist culture of Malaysia. However, there is a lacking study existing in relation to the relationship between MPA in any field of education or perfectionism among Malaysian tertiary students. Hence, this article presents the expansion of the body of literature on this important relationship between MPA and perfectionism. The knowledge affecting to symptoms and signs anxiety during adolescence among students can help if possible areas can be highlighted for the mediating and prevention on the relationship, this article may prove fruitful to Malaysian youths in the university setting so they can overcome the lacking.


Perfectionism is observed as an explicit mode of function that relates to a trend to appear perfect or to seek to be acceptable. Verner-Filion and Vallerand (2016) perceive perfectionism as a natural characteristic. A hale and hearty perfectionism have been differentiated from neurotic perfectionism. In one case, an individual is capable to outline accurate objectives and achieve satisfaction after reaching the objectives. The other case is when the individual fixes extremely high standards to be attained. Since these standards are unreachable, they associate imperfect or incomplete feelings. Recently, perfectionism is viewed as multidimensional personality attribute related to psychological complications, spins of social relations and flawed relationship to success.

In accordance with the model, perfectionism is a 3D concept including socially-set, other-oriented and self-set perfectionism. Self-set perfectionism mirrors a tendency to set high or impossible personal criteria of achievement. It is connected to various disorders and traits including hypomania, depression, and anxiety. Perfectionism concerning other-oriented personalities who keep high expectations others around in the social environment. Socially set perfectionism is interrelated to environmental pressures. Socially set perfectionists observe stresses from others to possess high standards. Psychologists reported that psychological distress prompted by two customs of perfectionism was connected to anxiety, depression, aggressive behaviours, and social stress.

Perfectionism is a behaviour that could be beneficial for the talent expression with high ranks of accomplishment; it also associates anxious feelings if standards are not met. In this scenario, talented students may need certain support because of the tendency to be anxious and tense, but a few realistic studies are present to support this view. Should we criticize ourselves for postponing, and complaining of every diminutive detail till everything becomes flawless? Or, is it better to leave ourselves hanging off the fishhook?

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