Around the Table with Thomas Curran
Date: Wednesday 7 November 2018
Venue: AA Restaurant
What is perfectionism? It's a personality trait rather than a mental health disorder that arises out of pressure to meet increasingly high standards. Thomas Curran, Bath University's lead researcher on the subject, believes neo-liberalism is to blame for the rise of perfectionism, creating a competitive job market where applicants aim to outperform their peers through their list of achievements. As an independent and one of the oldest schools of Architecture in the country, the AA is known for its creativity and unique approach to thinking about architecture. Students often feel pressure to excel and push at the boundaries of what architecture is, while trying to discover how to be the 'perfect' student. In this talk, Thomas Curran will present data collected over 26 years, showing how perfectionism has increased substantially over time among young people. Against a backdrop of elevated metal ill-health, he will explore how and why perfectionism became today’s hidden epidemic and how one can combat or cope with perfectionism.
Thomas Curran is an Assistant Professor in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. His area of expertise is the personality characteristic of perfectionism, how it develops, and how it impacts on mental health. He has published over 20 articles or book chapters on these or related issues. His most notable work to date centres on tracking generational changes in levels of perfectionism and mapping these changes onto sociocultural changes that have occurred across the past three decades.
Illustration: Harriet Lee Merrion/The Guardian
All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.