It's narcissists who are perfectionists.
Call it their own Snopes.com sleuthing. But hearing again and again that narcissistic self-absorption and perfectionistic striving fuel the current boom in cosmetic surgery, researchers at Canada's Dalhousie University decided to poke around a bit in the assumptions. To do so, they recruited 305 undergraduate women, and had each one complete tried-and-true diagnostic questionnaires returning measures of narcissism and perfectionism, along with one measuring interest in cosmetic surgery.
The researchers discovered that neither narcissism nor perfectionism predicted interest in cosmetic surgery. However, women scoring high on measures for both diagnoses showed the strongest interest in cosmetic surgery of any women in the study.
The implications of this study may be profound--for plastic surgeons. In the June 2011 issuse of Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery: The Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the authors speculate that cosmetic surgeons' patients may be grandiose and demanding to a fault--and, by diagnosis, "nearly impossible to satisfy," no matter how objectively successful their cosmetic surgery was.
Next up: How would 305 cosmetic surgeons perform on measures of depression, anger, and desire for a new career?