Document Type

Honors Thesis




Margaret Killinger, Jeffery Hecker

Committee Members

Jordan LaBouff, Shannon McCoy, Michael Robbins

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


This thesis investigates the relationship between perfectionism and the perceived importance of, and satisfaction with, various components of both the Honors College experience and the experience within majors as rated by University of Maine Honors College students. UMaine Honors College students were recruited to take an online Qualtrics survey. Preliminary descriptive analysis has suggested that, while UMaine Honors College students show average levels of self-oriented perfectionism, they demonstrate exceptionally high levels of socially-prescribed perfectionism, as compared to normative samples. Additionally, UMaine Honors College students exhibit significantly higher ratings of personal importance and satisfaction assigned to components of their major in comparison with the same components of their Honors College experience. Furthermore, correlate analysis has indicated that male Honors College students show a negative correlation between personal importance assigned to major experience, personal satisfaction with major experience and self-oriented and socially-prescribed perfectionism. Further investigation is warranted to develop a better understanding of the extreme mean score of socially-prescribed perfectionism observed in UMaine Honors College students. Future studies might investigate the variables responsible for the lower ratings of importance and satisfaction assigned to the Honors College, relative to their majors.

The Personal Importance & Satisfaction Inventory for the UMaine Honors College & Major Experience provides a novel framework to explore variables unseen in extant literature; this inventory, given further research to establish its reliability and validity, shows promise in evaluating weaknesses in Honors College experiences versus within-major experiences, which is a much-needed tool for baccalaureate colleges given Curran & Hill’s (2019) findings that SOP and SPP are currently increasing at dramatic rates among undergraduates.