Generation OCD: The Fascinating Link Between Millennials and Perfectionism


Let’s face it, millennials often get a bad rap – you may have even heard them referred to as the most hated generation. Considered by some as narcissistic, entitled and way too obsessed with technology, now new research suggests millennials are perfectionists, too.

If you’re a millennial (loosely defined as anyone aged between 18 and 35), there’s a good chance that perfectionism really is your biggest weakness, says a new study from the American Psychological Association that suggests today’s college kids report higher scores for perfectionism than any of the generations before them.

Research Finds Millennials are Perfectionists

In a new study on millennials and perfectionism, published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, researchers examined responses to the Multidimensional Perfection Scale (a test used to assess generational changes in three types of perfectionism) from over 40,000 college students who took the survey between 1989 and 2016.

The data showed that more recent generations of college students reported higher scores for each form of perfectionism than any of the generations before them, with a 10 percent increase in self-directed perfectionism, a 33 per cent increase in socially prescribed perfectionism and a 16 per cent increase in other-oriented perfectionism (perfectionistic standards that are applied to other people).

Today’s young people are competing with each other in order to meet societal pressures to succeed and they feel that perfectionism is necessary in order to feel safe, socially connected and of worth.

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