The present study explored the influence of dispositional perfectionism (i.e. perfectionistic concerns and perfectionistic strivings) on tension and performance under low or high experimentally induced stress. Results support the moderating role of perfectionism concerning tension and indicate that stress-related processes underlie the vulnerability of perfectionistic concerns. In addition, buffering effects of perfectionistic strivings were found, supporting the 2 × 2 model of dispositional perfectionism by Gaudreau and Thompson (2010). No evidence was found for the moderating role of perfectionistic strivings concerning performance, but results provide evidence for positive effects of perfectionistic concerns on performance.