A Reappraisal of Jewish Poetry from Mamluk Egypt. Communal Identity and Elite Culture in the Arabic and Hebrew Oeuvre of Joseph ben Tanhum Yerushalmi

01 October 2015 → 30 September 2018
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Language studies
    • Literary studies
Project description

Often, people look up to others who set high standards for themselves and pursue perfection, as they are seen as successful, ambitious and determined persons. However, research has shown that the pursuit of high standards might not always result in positive outcomes such as high performance and high self-esteem, but might even be related to ill-being and symptoms of eating disorders. In this project we examine whether the pursuit of high standards is a good or a bad thing and we examine this question more specifically in the context of eating disorder symptoms. Important to this discussion is the question why people strive for excellence. Do they pursue high goals because they feel that others expect this or because they would feel inferior or guilty if they wouldn’t do so (= controlled pursuit). Alternatively, people might set high standards because they consider it as important for their self-development or because they really enjoy taking up challenging tasks (= autonomous pursuit). In this project, we hypothesize that a controlled, and not an autonomous, pursuit of high standards will be related to negative aspects, such as more self-critical thoughts (e.g. I’m a failure), doubts about the quality of performances, and ultimately eating disorder symptoms. By looking at the reasons behind the pursuit of perfection, we will gain insight in the reasons why it might be good or bad to set high standards for yourself: is it out of pressure or pleasure?