Document Type : Research Paper


1 Foreign Languages Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University


Individual differences in personality traits can influence students' ability to learn a new language. Among the important personality traits, perfectionism has recently been the topic of investigation in second language acquisition research. Following this line of research, the current study aims at examining a path model linking dimensions of perfectionism to second language (L2) listening comprehension through mediating effects of subscales of self-efficacy along with the use of metacognitive listening strategy (MLS). A sample of 230 English as a foreign language (EFL) participants majoring in Translation studies and English Literature completed the perfectionism, general self-efficacy, and MLS questionnaires and took an IELTS listening comprehension test. The sample included 112 juniors (48.7 %), and 118 seniors (51.3 %) selected through convenience nonrandom sampling. Cluster analysis was used to identify three perfectionistic clusters: adaptive, maladaptive, and non-perfectionists. The results of a path analysis revealed that perfectionism and MLS use were the most significant variables in the proposed conceptual model. While correlational analyses in this study revealed significant relationships among self-efficacy components and listening comprehension, the overall total effects were not significant. Adaptive perfectionism significantly contributed to the MLS use and listening ability (LA). Perfectionism also contributed significantly to the effort and persistence self-efficacy components. In contrast, perfectionism did not significantly influence the initiative self-efficacy subscale. Implications of this study are discussed.


Main Subjects

Adler, A. (1956). The striving for perfection. In H. L. Ansbacher and R. R. Ansbacher (Eds.), The individual psychology of Alfred Adler (pp. 103-107). New York, NY: Harper Torchbooks.
Amini, D., & Shamlou, M. (2014). Effect of metacognitive strategy training and perfectionism on listening comprehension sub-processes. The Journal of Applied Linguistics and Discourse Analysis, 2(2), 11-20.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman.
Barabadi, E., & Khajavy, G. H. (2020). Perfectionism and foreign language achievement: the mediating role of emotions and achievement goals. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 65, 1–14.
Beauregard, T. A. (2012). Perfectionism, self-efficacy and OCB: The moderating role of gender. Personnel Review, 41(5), 590 – 608.
Bieling, P. J., Israeli, A., & Antony, M. M. (2004). Is perfectionism good, bad, or both? Examining models of the perfectionism construct. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(6), 1373–1385.
Bosscher, R. J., & Smit, J. H. (1998). Confirmatory factor analysis of the General Self-Efficacy Scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 339-343.
Byrne, B. M. (2016). Structural equation modelling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications, and programming (3rd Edition). New York: Routledge.
Chang, H., Chou, Y., Liou, J., & Tu, Y. (2016). The effects of perfectionism on innovative behavior and job burnout: Team workplace friendship as a moderator. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 260–265.
Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-experimentation: Design and analysis for field settings. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Deuling, J. K., & Burns, L. (2017). Perfectionism and work-family conflict: Self-esteem and self-efficacy as mediator. Personality and Individual Differences, 116, 326–330.
Dickinson, M. J., & Dickinson, D. A. G. (2015). Practically perfect in every way: Can reframing perfectionism for high-achieving undergraduates impact academic resilience? Studies in Higher Education, 40(10), 1889-1903.
Dimaggio, G., and Attinà, G. (2012). Metacognitive interpersonal therapy for narcissistic personality disorder and associated perfectionism. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 922–934.
Dörnyei, Z. (2017). Conceptualizing learner characteristics in a complex, dynamic world. In L. Ortega, & Z. Han (Eds.), Complexity theory and language development: In celebration of Diane Larsen-Freeman (pp. 79–96). John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Dörnyei, Z., MacIntyre, P., & Henry, A. (Eds.). (2015). Motivational dynamics in language learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Farag, I. M. (2020). Perfectionism and English learners' self-efficacy. Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies, 20, 87-109.
Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd Edition). Sage Publications Ltd., London.
Flett, G. L., Hewitt, P. L., Su, C., & Flett, K. D. (2016). Perfectionism in language learners: Review, conceptualization, and recommendations for teachers and school psychologists. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 31(2), 75-101.
Flett, G. L., Panico, T., & Hewitt, P. L. (2011). Perfectionism, Type A behavior, and self-efficacy in depression and health symptoms among adolescents. Current Psychology, 30(2), 105–116.
Frost, R. O., Marten, P. A., Lahart, C., & Rosenblate, R. (1990). The dimensions of perfectionism. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14, 449-468.
GhorbanDordinejad, F., & Nasab, A. H. F. (2013). Examination of the relationship between perfectionism and English achievement as mediated by foreign language classroom anxiety. Asia Pacific Education Review, 14, 603-614.
Ghorbani Nejad, S., & Farvardin, M. T. (2019). Roles of general language proficiency, aural vocabulary knowledge, and metacognitive awareness in L2 learners' listening comprehension. International Journal of Listening, 1-20. doi: 10.1080/10904018.2019.1572510.
Gnilka, P. B., & Novakovic, A. (2017). Gender differences in STEM students' perfectionism, career search self-efficacy, and perception of career barriers. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95, 56-66.
Goh, C. C. M. (2002). Teaching listening in the language classroom. Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
Goh, C. C. M. (2019). Comprehending speech genres for the listening classroom. In X. Gao (Ed.), Second handbook of English language teaching, Springer international handbooks of education (pp. 1-13). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Goudarzi, E., Ghonsooly, B., & Pishghadam, R. (2014). An exploration of the interrelationships among EFL learners' English self-efficacy, metacognitive awareness, and their test performance. Pragmatics & Cognition, 22, 25–339.
Graham, S. (2011). Self-efficacy and academic listening. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10, 113–117.
Green, S.B. (1991). How many subjects does it take to do a regression analysis? Multivariate Behavioral Research, 26, 499–510.
Gregersen, T., & Horwitz, E. K. (2002). Language learning and perfectionism: Anxious and non-anxious language learners' reactions to their own oral performance. The Modern Language Journal, 86, 562-570.
Grøtte, T, Solem, S., Vogel, P. A., Güzey, I. C., Hansen, B., & Myers, S. G. (2015). Metacognition, responsibility, and perfectionism in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Cognitive Therapy Research, 39, 41–50.
Gutiérrez-Braojos, C. (2015). Future time orientation and learning conceptions: effects on metacognitive strategies, self-efficacy beliefs, study effort and academic achievement. Educational Psychology, 35(2), 192–212.
Harper, K. L., Eddington, K.M., Silvia, P. J. (2016). Perfectionism and effort-related cardiac activity: Do perfectionists try harder? PLOS ONE, 11(8), 1-11.
Hawkins, C. C. (2005). The nature of perfectionism and its academic implications for secondary school students (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Hewitt, P. L., Flett, G. L. & Mikail, S. F. (2017). Perfectionism: Conceptualization, assessment, and treatment. New York, NY: Guildford Press.
Hooper, D., Coughlan, J., & Mullen, M. (2008). Structural equation modeling: Guidelines for determining model fit. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 6, 53–60.
Horney, K. H. (1950). Neurosis and human growth: The struggle toward self-realization. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Joe, H.-K., Hiver, P., & Al-Hoorie, A. H. (2017). Classroom social climate, self-determined motivation, willingness to communicate, and achievement: A study of structural relationships in instructed second language settings. Learning and Individual Differences, 53, 133–144.
Kang, S.-J. (2006). Individual and social-contextual factors affecting the learning and use of ESL: A case study of a visiting Korean physician. TESL Canada Journal, 24, 59-79.
Larsen–Freeman, D. (2015). Ten "lessons" from complex dynamic systems theory: What is on offer. In Z. Dörnyei, P. MacIntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.), Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 11–19). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Liu, M. (2007). Anxiety in oral English classrooms: A case study in China. Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching, 3, 119-137.
Liu, M., & Jackson, J. (2008). An exploration of Chinese EFL learners' unwillingness to communicate and foreign language anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 92, 71-86.
Locicero, K. A., & Ashby, J. S. (2000). Multidimensional perfectionism and self-reported self-efficacy in college students. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 15(2), 47-56.
Luckert, K. W. (1986). Perfectionism in human evolution. In S. M. Burgess (Ed.), Reaching beyond: Chapters in the history of perfectionism. (p. 3-38). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.
Mahmoodi-Shahrebabaki, M. (2017). The effect of perfectionism on burnout among English language teachers: the mediating role of anxiety. Teachers and Teaching, 23(1), 91-105.
Matthews, J. (2018). Vocabulary for listening: Emerging evidence for high and mid-frequency vocabulary knowledge. System, 72, 23-36.
Matthews, J., & Cheng, J. (2015). Recognition of high-frequency words from speech as a predictor of L2 listening comprehension. System, 52, 1-13.
Mills, J. S., & Blankstein, K. R. (2000). Perfectionism, intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, and motivated strategies for learning: a multidimensional analysis of university students. Personality and Individual Differences, 29, 1191-1204.
Mills, N., Pajares, F., & Herron, C. (2006). A reevaluation of the role of anxiety: self-efficacy, anxiety, and their relation to reading and listening proficiency. Foreign Language Annals, 39, 276–295.
Moradan, A., Kazenian, E., & Niroo, Z. (2013). The relationship between perfectionism and listening comprehension among EFL students of Kerman University. International Journal of Linguistics & Communication, 1, 8-16.
Nakano, K. (2009). Perfectionism, self-efficacy, and depression: Preliminary analysis of the Japanese version of The Almost Perfect Scale–Revised. Psychological Reports, 104, 896-908.
O'Malley, J. M., Chamot, A. U., & Kupper, L. (1989). Listening comprehension strategies in second languag acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 10 (4), 418-437.
Pishghadam, R., & Akhoondpoor, F. (2011). Learner perfectionism and its role in foreign language learning success, academic achievement, and learner anxiety. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2, 432-440.
Rahimi, M., & Abedi, S. (2014). The relationship between listening self-efficacy and metacognitive awareness of listening strategies. Procedia-Social and Behavior Sciences, 98, 1454–1460.
Razmi, M. H., & Jabbari, A. A. (2021). An investigation into the impact of multidimensional perfectionism on second language listening comprehension through the mediating roles of general self-efficacy and metacognitive listening strategies: A multicategorical multiple mediation analysis. Journal of Language and Translation Studies, 54(2), 123-151.
Razmi, M. H., Jabbari, A. A., & Fazilatfar, A. M. (2020). Perfectionism, self-efficacy components, and metacognitive listening strategy use: A multicategorical multiple mediation analysis. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 49, 1047–1065.
Rostami Abusaeedi, A.A. and Khabir, M. (2017). EFL Learners' Metacognitive Reading Strategies Preferences in Relation with Their Perfectionism Regarding Gender. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 7, 108-118.
Seo, E. H. (2008). Self-efficacy as a mediator in the relationship between self-oriented perfectionism and academic procrastination. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 36(6), 753–764.
Stewart, M. A., & George-Walker, L. D. (2014). Self-handicapping, perfectionism, locus of control and self-efficacy: A path model. Personality and Individual Differences, 66,160–164.
Stoeber, J., & Corr, P. J. (2015). Perfectionism, personality, and affective experiences: New insights from revised reinforcement sensitivity theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 86, 354–359.
Stoeber, J., & Corr, P. J. (2017). Perfectionism, personality, and future-directed thinking: Further insights from revised reinforcement sensitivity theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 105, 78–83.
Stoeber, J., Damian, L. E., & Madigan, D. J. (2018). Perfectionism: A motivational perspective. In J. Stoeber (Ed.). The psychology of perfectionism: Theory, research, applications (pp. 19–43). London: Routledge.
Stoeber, J., & Eissman, U. (2007). Perfectionism in young musicians: relations with motivation, effort, achievement, and distress. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 2182–2192.
Stoeber, J., & Eysenck, M. W. (2008). Perfectionism and efficiency: Accuracy, response bias, and invested time in proof-reading performance. Journal of Research in Personality, 42(6), 1673-1678.
Stoeber, J., Hutchfield, J., & Wood, K. V. (2008). Perfectionism, self-efficacy, and aspiration level: differential effects of perfectionistic striving and self-criticism after success and failure. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 323–327.
Vandergrift, L. (1997). The comprehension strategies of second language (French) listeners: A descriptive study. Foreign Language Annals, 30, 387-409.
Vandergrift, L., Goh, C. C. M., Mareschal, C., & Tafaghodtari, M. H. (2006). The metacognitive awareness listening questionnaire (MALQ): Development and validation. Language Learning, 56, 431–462.
Veenman, M. V. J., Van Hout-Wolters, B. H. A. M., & Afflerbach, P. (2006). Metacognition and learning: Conceptual and methodological considerations. Metacognition and Learning, 1, 3-14.
Yabukoshi, T. (2018). Self-regulation and self-efficacy for the improvement of listening proficiency outside the classroom. The Language Learning Journal, DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2018.1472626.
Yan, R. (2012). Improving English listening self-efficacy of Chinese university students- Influences of learning strategy training with feedback on strategy use and performance. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Durham University, UK.
Yoshida, R. (2013). Conflict between learners' beliefs and actions: Speaking in the classroom. Language Awareness, 22, 371-388.
Ziegler, N., & Opdenakker, M-C. (2018). The development of academic procrastination in first-year secondary education students: The link with metacognitive self-regulation, self-efficacy, and effort regulation. Learning and Individual Differences, 64, 71–82.