Examining the links between self-tracking and perfectionism dimensions
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University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
Astrid Schütz   

University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
Submission date: 2022-08-05
Final revision date: 2023-01-10
Acceptance date: 2023-01-10
Online publication date: 2023-04-14
Self-tracking – the collection, storage, analysis, and evaluation of self-related data (e.g., on one’s diet, fitness activities, sports performance, or finances) – is a recent and widespread trend. Less is known about who engages in self-tracking. We expected perfectionism to be linked to self-tracking because performance optimization is central to this activity.

Participants and procedure:
A German convenience sample (N = 145; 64% women, mean age = 32 years) was recruited for this cross-sectional study. The sample comprised a mix of students and community participants. Participants completed an online questionnaire with scales on self-tracking (Self Quantification Scale), perfectionism (Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale with subscales striv-ing for achievement and evaluative concerns), and personality (Big Five Inventory-10).

Using a two-dimensional conceptualization of perfectionism and controlling for the Big Five, we found that striving for achievement was strongly positively related to self-tracking, whereas evaluative concerns was not significantly linked. Ap-parently, people who set high goals and want to meet high standards are more likely than others to engage in self-tracking. However, people’s engagement in self-tracking was independent of their personality.

The results point to the importance of distinguishing between different perfectionism dimensions in relation to self-tracking. Future research could explore additional performance-related traits (e.g., grit) to expand the understanding of self-tracking.

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