I am looking for a word that defines a person who thinks that there is always a scope for improvement. Just like the term "perfectionist" that defines a person who always looks for perfection. Is there a term to define who always looks for improvement?
Overoptimistic free dictionary:
- excessively optimistic
Once you're down to the ideal case, that's the best there'll ever be.
Panglossian describes someone at the the endpoint of this overoptimistic worldview. Merriam-Webster:
marked by the view that all is for the best in this best of possible worlds : excessively optimistic
I don't know why you're knocking
perfectionist. A perfectionist is always looking for thing to be perfect. The way to make things perfect is to improve them. I'd say that thinking "there is always a scope for improvement" is the same as looking for perfection.
Anyway, if you're looking for an alternative (with negative connotations), such a man could be referred to as Mr. Glass Half-Empty. It is also used to mean a pessimist, though.
Perfectionist, to me, has the connotation that the person's desire for perfection is focused on their own work, perhaps even that it is limited to their own work. You wouldn't call someone a perfectionist because they could see room for improvement in their country's economy and their family's social dynamics and the state of the movie industry and their children's school and ...
What you would call such a person is an idealist, a person who thinks everything can be done better and is unsatisfied with the way things are now, who isn't content with pragmatic compromises.
As per the suggestion of the post the following words may have a chance. The words are arranged according to my preference:- ♦ exacting ♦ captious ♦fastidious ♦hyper critical ♦ nitpicky♦exceptive
"Carper " may as well have a chance in the light of John Bunyan's quotation : "Come, let my carper to his life now look,/ And find there darker lines than in my book."
I know it describes an endless task, but uncertain whether it can be applied to a mentality. None of the terms are complimentary, and most are insulting.
In Psychology 'Constant Improvers' are one of the Myers Briggs Personality Types. (I love Myers Briggs) Have a read of it before you unleash your word on your overly fastidious friend :)