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Imposter phenomenon and self-handicapping: Links with parenting styles and self-confidence

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Abstract

This study examined parental rearing styles and objective confidence in relation to impostor phenome-non (feelings of phoniness experienced by individuals who have achieved some level of success, Clance & Imes, 1978) and self-handicapping tendencies (creation of an impediment to performance as an excuse for possible failure, Jones & Berglas, 1978). Participants (N = 115) completed measures of impostorism, self-handicapping, parental bonding (for each parent) and Esoteric Analogies test with confidence judg-ments. Impostor feelings were predicted by paternal overprotection and lack of paternal care. Self-handi-capping scores were predicted by lack of maternal care. A significant relationship was found between impostorism and self-handicapping. Supporting the nature of the impostor phenomenon, impostors showed a ''gap'' between assessment of their performance and actual task-related achievements.

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... With the declining grasp of gender as a contributing etiologic factor of the phenomenon in question (Clark et al., 2014), several explanations for the impostor phenomenon were examined in the research literature. The prominent variables identified as linked to impostor expressions in men and women, which could be related to the phenomenon's etiology, are anxiety and depression disorders (McGregor et al., 2008;Oriel et al., 2004;Thompson et al., 2000;Tigranyan et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2019), low self-esteem (Schubert & Bowker, 2017;Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Yaffe, 2020b), perfectionism (Pannhausen et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2019), and parent-child relationships or parental rearing styles (Castro et al., 2004;Li et al., 2014;Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006;Yaffe, 2020b). It is unclear, however, whether the impostor phenomenon is caused by these factors, affects them, or whether they are simply commonly co-occurring (Urwin, 2018). ...
... Although no sufficient research has been conducted in this specific area, some empirical foundations were laid to foster the understanding regarding the role played by the family in the context of the impostor phenomenon. Impostor expressions in adolescents and adults were previously associated with various marital conditions, including maladaptive parental functioning and impaired parent-child relations, parental substance use of alcohol, and certain styles of dysfunctional parenting behaviors in child-rearing (e.g., Caselman et al., 2006;Castro et al., 2004;Li et al., 2014;Robinson & Goodpaster, 1991;Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006;Yaffe, 2020b). For example, Sonnak and Towell (2001) have shown that perceived past parental overprotection and lack of care are associated with higher impostor expressions in British students. ...
... In this study, the students' recollections of their parents' overprotection and lack of care in the family were related to elevated impostor expressions mainly through low self-esteem. Similarly, the direct connections observed in some other studies between parenting styles and impostor expressions were for the most part of a small to moderate size, while those studies using additional psychological variables that were in part correlated with parenting styles significantly strengthened the predictivity of the impostor phenomenon (Li et al., 2014;Want & Kleitman, 2006). This suggests that some psychological variables may play a mediating or moderating role in the relationship between parenting styles and the impostor phenomenon. ...
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https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cIY9heKdkDIr (full text) Clance and Imes (1978) introduced a phenomenon regarding individuals who tend to experience intellectual phoniness and covert perceived inadequacy, which they termed impostor phenomenon. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between the impostor phenomenon and social anxiety in adult students, while inspecting the latter variable's mediating role in the relationship between students' recollections of their parents' parenting styles and their current impostor expressions. The study comprised 247 students, 185 females and 62 males (Mage = 28.27, SD = 8.22), who completed online forms of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), and the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN). The participants' social anxiety was positively correlated (at medium to strong size) with their impostor expressions. Perceived parental care was indirectly associated with the students' impostor expressions through social anxiety for mothers and fathers, meaning that the sample's students who perceived their parents as less caring exhibited greater impostor expressions because they were more socially anxious. Also, perceived paternal overprotection was associated with the students' impostor expressions through social anxiety. Namely, students who perceived their fathers as more overprotective had greater impostor expressions because they were more socially anxious. The etiological significances and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
... It has been suggested that accurate self-monitoring such as that represented by Confidence is the foundation required to employ more complex metacognitive processes, for example planning and selecting learning strategies [5,6]. Confidence appears to have real-world implications for decision making in workplace contexts [7,8], however, much of the research on its psychometric properties has accumulated in educational settings. ...
... Confidence might also prove useful in predicting maladaptive personality styles which have been shown to impact on job performance and individual job satisfaction. One such study by Want and Kleitman investigated the link between imposter feelings and low Confidence in ability, based on the hypothesis that a gap between assessments of one's ability and task-related achievements (i.e., poor self-monitoring) is at the heart of Imposter Phenomenon (IP) [8]. Supporting the predictions of this study, higher impostor scores correlated with lower Confidence levels, but not with the accuracy score of the test. ...
... This validated the original formulation of IP, being high achievers who make unreasonably low assessments of their performance. Furthermore, as suggested by Want and Kleitman, evidence is emerging for the role of Confidence in effective decision-making [8]. In a study of 196 psychology students exposed to a medical decision-making paradigm under conditions of uncertainty, Jackson and Kleitman found that an increase in Confidence resulted in an incremental increase in congruent, optimal and incompetent decision tendencies (R 2 =19%, 10% and 9%, respectively), and a decrease in hesitant tendencies (R 2 =17%) after diagnostic accuracy and intelligence had been accounted for [7]. ...
... Parenting style, which helps to form the child's attachment style (Shaver and Mikulincer 2002), is related to the self-presentation strategies of self-handicapping via the imposter phenomenon (Want and Kleitman 2006). Since both the imposter phenomenon and insecure attachments involve self-doubt and anxiety, the imposter feelings can be prevalent for those with insecure attachments (Lane and Fink 2015). ...
... Anxious attachment does not appear to depend on the imposter phenomenon to impact self-handicapping while avoidant attachment does. Self-presentation theory helps to explain how self-presentation strategies like the imposter phenomenon and self-handicapping vary depending on individual factors, such as attachment style (Baumeister and Hutton 1987;Want and Kleitman 2006). Our results show that avoidant attachment is not directly related to self-handicapping. ...
... Contrary to our hypothesis, we found the indirect effect of avoidant attachment on self-handicapping via the imposter phenomenon was stronger at lower levels of social comparison. In line with self-presentation theory, avoidantly attached students used a different interpersonal coping strategy (Want and Kleitman 2006). As avoidantly attached students compared themselves less with others, the more the imposter phenomenon and self-handicapping were reported. ...
Article
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Many students pursuing post-secondary education will experience the imposter phenomenon at some point in their academic career. The imposter phenomenon can lead to anxiety, self-doubt, and self-handicapping strategies that can impair academic success for students. Self-presentation strategies can be adaptive in the competitive and evaluative environment that is education in the U.S., but not all students use these strategies in the same way. To understand the differences, this study looked at how attachment style relates to the imposter phenomenon from an interpersonal perspective. Due to the evaluative and social nature of education, we also looked at how social comparison changes how students portray themselves to others or how they view themselves. We studied 946 university students and found an indirect effect from the imposter phenomenon and self-handicapping via avoidant attachment. Further, social comparison moderated the indirect relation between avoidant attachment and self-handicapping. Specifically, the indirect effect from avoidant attachment and self-handicapping was weaker with higher levels of social comparison. Results highlight the importance of tailoring counseling and career development interventions to the student and emphasize how educators can address social comparison in the classroom.
... Most previous research took place in western cultural backgrounds, but the results could be different in Asia, because of different parenting styles. Previous research shows that IP is positively correlated to high parental control and low level of parental warmth [37,51], which are the characteristics of the authoritarian parenting style [50,58]. Some previous studies suggest that native-born Chinese adolescents are more likely to report their parents as authoritarian than foreign-born Chinese adolescents [11]. ...
... This study seeks to contribute to the debate by examining gender difference in current sample (i.e., Chinese adolescents). Previous research has identified several related variables of IP, such as family background [5,32,50,58] and personality traits [4,9,24,47]. Furthermore, there are also increasingly more studies on the correlation between IP and other constructs, such as self-handicapping [58], selfesteem level and stability [49], self-efficacy [60], as well as entity theory of intelligence [34]. ...
... Previous research has identified several related variables of IP, such as family background [5,32,50,58] and personality traits [4,9,24,47]. Furthermore, there are also increasingly more studies on the correlation between IP and other constructs, such as self-handicapping [58], selfesteem level and stability [49], self-efficacy [60], as well as entity theory of intelligence [34]. Entity theory of intelligence, otherwise known as fixed mindset, is a construct in Dweck's implicit theory of intelligence(ITI) [20]. ...
... Although most of the studies were conducted in the USA 9, 10, 12, 13, 15-17, 21-32, 34-38, 42, 43, 45, 49-57, 61, 62, 64, 65, 67, 73 and Canada, 19,44,46,66,68 twenty-one studies evaluated populations in other countries including five in Austria, 39,[58][59][60]63 five in Australia/New Zealand, 20,31,70,71,74 four in Germany, 11,14,47,48,58 three in Iran, 33,40,41 two in the UK, 20,69 and one each in Belgium 72 and Korea. 73 Nearly all of the included studies were single-arm observational studies (Table 1). ...
... Six studies compared the rates of impostor syndrome by age. 14,18,49,62,70,74 Two studies reported that increased age was associated with decreased impostor feelings. 18,70 Three studies found no age effect. ...
... 18,70 Three studies found no age effect. 49,62,74 Brauer and Proyer evaluated impostor syndrome in two cohorts (244 psychology students and 222 working professionals in Germany)-they found that age was significantly negatively correlated with impostor feelings among working professionals but not undergraduates. 14 Notably, in their study, the age range of the working professionals was much larger than that of the students, perhaps contributing to the likelihood of finding an age effect. ...
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Background: Impostor syndrome is increasingly presented in the media and lay literature as a key behavioral health condition impairing professional performance and contributing to burnout. However, there is no published review of the evidence to guide the diagnosis or treatment of patients presenting with impostor syndrome. Purpose: To evaluate the evidence on the prevalence, predictors, comorbidities, and treatment of impostor syndrome. Data sources: Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO (January 1966 to May 2018) and bibliographies of retrieved articles. Study selection: English-language reports of evaluations of the prevalence, predictors, comorbidities, or treatment of impostor syndrome. Data extraction: Two independent investigators extracted data on study variables (e.g., study methodology, treatments provided); participant variables (e.g., demographics, professional setting); diagnostic tools used, outcome variables (e.g., workplace performance, reductions in comorbid conditions); and pre-defined quality variables (e.g., human subjects approval, response rates reported). Data synthesis: In total, 62 studies of 14,161 participants met the inclusion criteria (half were published in the past 6 years). Prevalence rates of impostor syndrome varied widely from 9 to 82% largely depending on the screening tool and cutoff used to assess symptoms and were particularly high among ethnic minority groups. Impostor syndrome was common among both men and women and across a range of age groups (adolescents to late-stage professionals). Impostor syndrome is often comorbid with depression and anxiety and is associated with impaired job performance, job satisfaction, and burnout among various employee populations including clinicians. No published studies evaluated treatments for this condition. Limitations: Studies were heterogeneous; publication bias may be present. Conclusions: Clinicians and employers should be mindful of the prevalence of impostor syndrome among professional populations and take steps to assess for impostor feelings and common comorbidities. Future research should include evaluations of treatments to mitigate impostor symptoms and its common comorbidities.
... In a later study, imposter feelings of adults with a wide range of occupations were predicted by their recollections of their parents' parenting styles. Specifically, perceived paternal (but not maternal) overprotection and lack of paternal care were directly associated with increased feelings of imposterism (Want & Kleitman, 2006). However, maternal care was negatively related to self-handicapping and maternal overprotection was negatively related to confidence scores. ...
... We tested this hypothesis separately for the participants' mothers and fathers using sperate regression models with SEM, and found partial support for the indirect links between the parental dimensions and the students' imposter feelings. Generally consistent with previous research, where the meditational effects of these links were considered (Li's et al., 2014;Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006), in the current sample we found parenting styles to be associated with the participants' imposter feelings mainly through the Table 2 Bootstrapped path estimates, SEs and 95% CIs for the regression model predicting students' imposter syndrome scores from their father's overprotection and care with (students') self-esteem as a mediator (N = 182). ...
... In accordance with previous studies showing deferential associations between patenting styles and imposter feelings for both parents (Li's et al., 2014;Want & Kleitman, 2006), our findings revealed somewhat stronger effects of fathers than of mothers on the sample's females' students. Whereas the connection trends between the parenting dimensions and the students' variables were similar in general, more paternal paths approached significance. ...
Article
The study investigates the links between maternal and paternal parenting styles and the imposter syndrome among adult female students, while probing the meditative role played by self-esteem in this context. The sample comprised 182 female students (Mage = 27.85, SD = 7.25) who completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), the Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). The results of the analyses of the regressions models using SEM revealed that parental care is associated with students’ lower imposter feelings via self-esteem, and paternal overprotection is associated with students’ higher imposter feelings via self-esteem. Hence, parental care and overprotection may be related to female students’ imposter feelings since they increase and decrease (respectively) their self-esteem which, in turn, affects their imposter feelings. The current study is among the first to demonstrate the mediation role played by self-esteem in the association in question separately for mothers and fathers, which contributes to facilitating the understanding of the etiology mechanism of the imposter phenomenon.
... However, researchers have identified some antecedents and attributes, though additional research is needed to clarify the boundary between the two. Researchers have identified perfectionism (Cusack et al., 2013;Dudau, 2014;Sakulku & Alexander, 2011), anxiety (Cokley et al., 2015;Fraenza, 2016;Sharma, 2018), identity threat (Bernard, Hoggard et al., 2018;Hutchins & Rainbolt, 2017), low self-esteem (Rohrmann et al., 2016;Schubert & Bowker, 2017), parenting influence (Clance & Imes, 1978;Want & Kleitman, 2006), and personality traits (Bernard, Dollinger, & Ramaniah, 2002;Brauer & Proyer, 2017;Vergauwe et al., 2015) as antecedents and attributes of impostor phenomenon. ...
... Bernard et al. (2002) used a quantitative correlational study to examine impostor phenomenon in the context of the Big Five in a population of 190 college students, uncovering a link between high impostor feelings, high neuroticism, and low conscientiousness. Want and Kleitman (2006) delved deeply into the question of how parenting styles influenced impostor phenomenon. Using a quantitative correlational study with 115 participants, they examined the relationships between impostor phenomenon, selfhandicapping, parental bonding for each parent, and measures of confidence judgment (Want & Kleitman, 2006). ...
... Want and Kleitman (2006) delved deeply into the question of how parenting styles influenced impostor phenomenon. Using a quantitative correlational study with 115 participants, they examined the relationships between impostor phenomenon, selfhandicapping, parental bonding for each parent, and measures of confidence judgment (Want & Kleitman, 2006). The researchers discovered a correlation between impostor phenomenon and self-handicapping behavior, a coping strategy used by some impostors (Want & Kleitman, 2006). ...
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The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to describe how Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, coped with their experiences of impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation. The conceptual framework for this study included social influence theory, subject-object constructive-development theory, and approach/avoidance coping model of stress. Three research questions guided this study: How do Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, experience impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation, How does the church support Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, in their experience of impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation, and How do Christians in Arizona, ages 30-50, cope with their experiences of impostor phenomenon. The study used semistructured individual interviews with 10 participants and a semistructured focus group interview with four participants, which were a subset of the sample. The researcher utilized an inductive, thematic data analysis strategy. The data from this study resulted in four themes: We experience an ongoing identity crisis in our spiritual identity; Resources connected to overcoming impostor phenomenon during spiritual identity formation are scarce; We need help becoming more holistically authentic people; and We cope with impostor phenomenon by becoming more holistically authentic people. The data collected and analyzed in this study suggested a cyclical and symbiotic relationship between spiritual identity development and holistic identity development triggered by the stressful experience of impostor phenomenon.
... Warmth and responsiveness were consistently associated with positive developmental outcomes including good development of inhibition capacities in children, while children of parents who displayed low levels of warmth showed elevated levels of oppositional behaviours (Roskam, Stievenart, Meunier, & Noël, 2014;Stormshak et al., 2000). High maternal care was associated with lower odds of depression, eating, and behavioural disorders (Eun, Paksarian, He, & Merikangas, 2018;Milevsky, Schlechter, Netter, & Keehn, 2007), while lack of maternal care predicted self-handicapping, a cognitive strategy where people avoid effort in the hopes of keeping potential failure from hurting self-esteem (Want & Kleitman, 2006). High paternal care was associated with lower odds of social phobia and alcohol abuse/ dependence (Eun et al., 2018;Lieb et al., 2000), while lack of paternal care predicted impostor feeling, where the individual doubts their accomplishments (Want & Kleitman, 2006). ...
... High maternal care was associated with lower odds of depression, eating, and behavioural disorders (Eun, Paksarian, He, & Merikangas, 2018;Milevsky, Schlechter, Netter, & Keehn, 2007), while lack of maternal care predicted self-handicapping, a cognitive strategy where people avoid effort in the hopes of keeping potential failure from hurting self-esteem (Want & Kleitman, 2006). High paternal care was associated with lower odds of social phobia and alcohol abuse/ dependence (Eun et al., 2018;Lieb et al., 2000), while lack of paternal care predicted impostor feeling, where the individual doubts their accomplishments (Want & Kleitman, 2006). ...
... Overprotection was also associated with social anxiety, increased rates of social phobia and pubertal anorexia nervosa, and high depressive symptom in the offspring (Albinhac, Jean, & Bouvard, 2018;Betts, Gullone, & Allen, 2009;Faravelli, Di Paola, Scarpato, & Fioravanti, 2010;Lieb et al., 2000;Mousavi et al., 2016;Orgilés et al., 2018;Spokas & Heimberg, 2009). Mothers of panic disorder patients were found to be highly overprotective and controlling (Faravelli et al., 2010), while, paternal overprotection predicted impostor feelings in their offspring (Want & Kleitman, 2006). Higher levels of rejection and/or hostility among fathers were more strongly correlated with somatisation 10 Bronstein et al. (2005) Parental predictors of motivational orientation in early adolescence: A longitudinal study. ...
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Parenting is a dynamic process, influenced by socio-cultural factors. It is an important contributing factor to child development and childhood psychopathology. Research investigating association between parenting styles and child outcome are limited in India. This paper aims to review studies conducted in West and in India in order to study cultural differences in parenting styles and its outcome. We found that despite hypothesized cultural differences between the West and India, the effect of parenting styles on children appear to be similar across culture, and culture did not serve as a moderator for parenting style and child outcome. An Authoritative parenting styles was associated with better outcome than authoritarian and neglectful/uninvolved parenting style in both Western countries and in India. Findings on indulgent/permissive parenting style were mixed in both Western countries and in India. The article discusses cultural shift in the parenting styles, and its implications for the future.
... In other words, the psychological variables were, for the most part, more significant predictors of impostor scores than parenting styles. Hence, while the conjoint prediction of the impostor scores was considerable (ranging from 15% to 50% in these studies), the unique contributions of the parental variables when considered simultaneously with socio-psychological variables, were relatively marginal or even insignificant (e.g., Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006;Yaffe, 2020bYaffe, , 2021. In Yaffe's studies specifically, the paternal and maternal styles were found to be linked with the impostor phenomenon mainly indirectly through other psychological variables (i.e., self-esteem and social anxiety). ...
... Also, when accounted for together, or simultaneously with different psychological factors, the unique contribution of the parental/familial variables to explaining the impostor scores tends to decrease significantly. This was a prominent pattern across several studies (Beard & Bakeman, 2001;Caselman et al., 2006;Gibson-Beverly & Schwartz, 2008;Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006;Yaffe, 2020bYaffe, , 2021) that used various psychological and social variables to predict the impostor phenomenon (e.g., self-esteem, self-confidence, mental health, social anxiety), which, for the most part, were stronger predictors of the phenomenon than the familial variables. Indeed, some of these studies demonstrated the indirect link between parental variables and the impostor phenomenon, suggesting that the familial etiology of the impostor phenomenon may pass through other socio-psychological factors. ...
Article
This systematic review work integrates the findings from studies conducted between 1991 and 2021 on the association between familial and parental factors and the impostor phenomenon, in an attempt to deepen the comprehension of the phenomenon’s etiology. All four forms of familial/parental factors identified in these studies (i.e., parental rearing styles and behaviors, attachment styles, maladaptive parenting and parent-child relations, and familial achievement orientation) were generally found to be moderately correlated with the impostor phenomenon. The prominent group of studies deals with the link between parental rearing styles as an explaining variable, with 7 studies showing somewhat consistent associations between parental (low) care and over-control and an offspring’s impostor feelings. However, when considered simultaneously, the parental variables are shown to be less predictive of impostor scores than some psychological variables such as self-esteem.
... To protect their poor self-esteem from negative perfectionistic strivings and fear of failure results in a contrasting achievement motivation comprising approach and avoidance orientations (Ross & Krukowski, 2003; The motivational discrepancy explains the increased stress response; for instance, burnout components (emotional exhaustion and depersonalization) are enhanced in impostors (Villwock et al., 2016). Their hypercritical self-appraisals and dysfunctional strive for perfection are based on the need to maintain their positive public image and protect their self-esteem, as illustrated by the connection between IP and tendencies to self-handicapping (Want & Kleitman, 2006). Also, the lower expressed performance expectations in public but not in private sittings indicate the self-presentational quality of the IP (Leary et al., 2000). ...
... Interestingly, Morris and Tiggemann (2013) found a relationship between academic success and a stable and global failure attribution in high-achieving students, which they explained with the IP. According to the impostor cycle, highachieving students show an increased fear of failure and achievement pressure (Kolligian & Sternberg, 1991), leading to pro-or precrastination in achievement tasks (Want & Kleitman, 2006). Furthermore, the success could lead to a perceived elevation of their public image. ...
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The Impostor Phenomenon describes people characterized by a non-self-serving attributional bias towards success. In this experimental between-subjects design, we conducted a bogus intelligence test in which each subject was assigned to a positive or negative feedback condition. Our sample consisted of N=170 individuals (51% female). The results showed that the impostor expression moderates the influence of feedback on locus of causality and stability attribution. ‘Impos- tors’ show an external-instable attributional style regarding success and an internal-stable attributional style regarding failure. Therefore, the relationship between the impostor expression and its characteristic attribution patterns could be experimentally validated for the first time. In addition, we investigated whether the IP is linked to the performance-related construct mindset. We found a positive correlation between the IP and fixed mindset. Possible causes for these findings are discussed.
... Esmaeili (2014) showed that the authoritative parenting style positively affects the self-esteem of children of all ages and authoritarian parenting style negatively affects it. Regardless of the effect of contextual determinants, individual and cognitive determinants can also affect the students' self-handicapping (Want, Kleitman, 2006). ...
... This means that parenting styles have not a direct impact on academic selfhandicapping. These findings are not similar to results of the studies conducted by Want, Kleitman (2006), Hirabayashi (2005), Peregrina, García, Casanov (2003), Pulford, Johnson, Awaida, (2005), Dupree Shilelds (2007), Esmaeili (2014); Heidari (2009);Sultan Nezhad et al (2015). To explain the finding, it should be noted that Environmental and tissue factors are not a determinative factor in reducing cognitive and behavioral problems, including academic self-handicapping of students. ...
... Research on the impostor phenomenon has been conducted in several countries and with several populations. It has been conducted in countries like Korea (Chae et al., 1995), Israel (Kuna, 2019), Australia (Thompson et al., 1998;Want & Kleitman, 2006), Belgium (Vergauwe et al., 2015), and Germany (Brauer & Proyer, 2017;Brauer & Proyer, 2019;Brauer & Wolf, 2016), among others. Additionally, it has been investigated among undergraduates (Blondeau & Awad, 2018) and graduate students in STEM (e.g., Chakraverty, 2019;Craddock et al., 2011;Jöstl et al., 2015). ...
... In STEM, many PhDs and postdocs aspire for a faculty career (Bennett et al., 2020;Main & Wang, 2019), and adopting a fine-grained approach by examining the challenges of doctoral and postdoctoral training individually would allow better understanding of how doctoral education and training can be tailored and improved for those who experience the impostor phenomenon (Chakraverty, 2020). Understanding behaviors related to impostor phenomenon could help design specific interventions for professional development for PhDs/postdocs to mitigate fears and self-handicapping patterns of thoughts (Want & Kleitman, 2006). Structured training in public speaking is an example (Chakraverty, 2020). ...
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Aim/Purpose: This mixed-methods research study examined impostor phenomenon during postdoctoral training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through the following research question: “What are the manifestations of the impostor phenomenon experienced during postdoctoral training in STEM?” Background: The impostor phenomenon occurs when competent, high-achieving students and professionals believe that they are fraud and will be exposed eventually. It involves fear of failure, lack of authenticity, feeling fake or fraud-like, denial of one’s competence, and is linked to lower self-esteem, mental health consequences, and lack of belonging. Methodology: This study was conducted with US-based postdoctoral trainees (or postdocs) using mixed-methods approach. The study examined aspects of impostor phenomenon among 43 postdocs by converging survey data using Clance Phenomenon Scale (CIPS) and qualitative data from semi-structured Impostor interviews from the same participants. Both convenience and snowball sampling were used. Majority of the participants were White, female, and from science disciplines. Interview findings were organized into themes using constant comparative method and analytic induction. Contribution: Findings pointed to the need for better designing professional development programs for postdocs that would: 1) address fears and insecurities due to impostor-feelings, 2) normalize conversations around perceived failure, judgment, and one’s lack of belonging, and 3) provide support with networking, mentoring, academic communication, and mental health challenges. Findings: Survey results indicated moderate to intense impostor-feelings; interviews found six triggers of the impostor phenomenon during postdoctoral training: 1. not pursuing new things, 2. not making social connections, 3. impaired academic communication, 4. not applying, 5. procrastination and mental health, and 6. feeling undeserving and unqualified. Current findings were compared with prior findings of impostor-triggers among PhD students who also experienced the first three of these challenges during doctoral training: challenges to applying newly learnt knowledge in other domains, reaching out for help, and developing skills in academic communication verbally and through academic writing. Recommendations for Practitioners: The office of postdoctoral affairs could design professional development programs and individual development plans for those experiencing the impostor phenomenon, focusing on strengthening skills (e.g., academic writing) in particular. There was an environmental and systemic dimension to the imposter phenomenon, perhaps more prevalent among women in STEM. The academy could devise ways to better support scholars who experience this phenomenon. Recommendation for Researchers: Research characterizing the qualitative characteristics of the impostor phenomenon across the STEM pipeline (undergrads, PhD students, postdocs, and faculty) would help understand if the reasons and manifestations of this phenomenon vary among differing demographics of students and professionals. Impact on Society: Organizations could focus on the training, development, mental health, and stressors among postdocs in STEM, particularly by focusing on career transition points (e.g., PhD to postdoc transition, postdoc to faculty transition), especially for those at-risk of experiencing this phenomenon and therefore dropping out. Future Research: Future research could examine how to manage or overcome the impostor phenomenon for students and professionals, focus on disciplines outside STEM, and investigate how socialization opportunities may be compromised due to this phenomenon. Longitudinal studies might characterize the phenomenon better than those that focused on the impostor phenomenon at a single time-point.
... Although the problem of IP is found in both, men and women, but women suffer from it more than men do. [19], [11[, [9], [20], [50], [37], [18] In an article based on five women leading in the faith-based colleges and universities, the author shares a conversation with Christine, an academic administrator who states, "I still don"t understand what it is that people see that makes them feel confident in my abilities; it"s just my self-confidence is still pretty shaken at times when I just stop and think, "I can"t believe I"m doing this" (Dahvlig, 2013, p.101). ...
... Furthermore, studies have examined the effects of family relations and parenting styles as roots of IP through quantative research methodology [46] , [50], ]36 . ...
... Although the problem of IP is found in both, men and women, but women suffer from it more than men do. [19], [11[, [9], [20], [50], [37], [18] In an article based on five women leading in the faith-based colleges and universities, the author shares a conversation with Christine, an academic administrator who states, "I still don"t understand what it is that people see that makes them feel confident in my abilities; it"s just my self-confidence is still pretty shaken at times when I just stop and think, "I can"t believe I"m doing this" (Dahvlig, 2013, p.101). ...
... Furthermore, studies have examined the effects of family relations and parenting styles as roots of IP through quantative research methodology [46] , [50], ]36 . ...
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It has been said before that “No one forgives with more grace and love than a child”. And also no one can compete the child with his outstanding memory which can’t forget deep injuries during childhood, especially when these multiple abuses come from his/her parents and other relatives. Being physically abused, emotionally abused, and neglected from her biological parents and sexually abused from one of her relatives, this 25 years old female, who is a student in the university, suffers from severe depression and very low level of self-esteem. The current research aims at decreasing the client’s depression and improving her self-esteem through case study techniques, assessing her needs, fears, deep feelings and behavior using a variety of methods, including projective tests, life history, interviews and direct observation of her behavior. The researcher will attempt to help this female using the techniques of the “Forgiveness Therapy” which is described by a number of clinicians and researchers as a promising approach to anger-reduction, depression healing and the restoration of general emotional and mental health. Key words: Forgiveness Therapy, depression, self-esteem, child abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, childhood, case study, clinical psychology.
... One study that previously examined this relationship has found the Organization dimension to be weakly negatively correlated with the IP (Dud u 2014). A possible explanation may lie in the selfimpairing behaviors (e.g., procrastination) that have repeatedly been demonstrated among individuals with high levels of the IP (Cowman and Ferrari 2002;Ross et al. 2001;Want and Kleitman 2006). Accordingly, Clance (1985) has already outlined that high demands on oneself combined with doubts about one's own abilities, the fear of failing, and being considered incapable by others leads to characteristic working styles of individuals with strong impostor tendencies in the form of excessive workload (perfectionism) or long postponement of work (procastination) when confronted with performance-related tasks in order to avoid failure or having an explanation for it to protect the self-worth. ...
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The Impostor Phenomenon can be described as the tendency to attribute professional success not to one’s own abilities but to excessive effort or fortunate external circumstances. Individuals strongly experiencing those tendencies fear that one day they will be exposed as “impostors” as soon as their alleged incompetence can no longer be concealed. Typical characteristics of the Impostor Phenomenon outlined by Clance (1985) show a remarkable conceptual similarity to the personality construct of perfectionism. Thus, the present study aimed at investigating how the Impostor Phenomenon is related to various facets of dispositional perfectionism with respect to predominant conceptualizations of perfectionism by Frost et al. (1990), Hewitt and Flett (1991), as well as their combination within the bifactor model of Perfectionistic Strivings and Perfectionistic Concerns (Frost et al. 1993). A total of N = 274 individuals participated in an online survey including the Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS; Clance 1988), the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS; Frost et al. 1990), and the Hewitt und Flett Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS short form; Hewitt et al. 2008). Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine the differential contributions of perfectionism dimensions and factors in predicting the Impostor Phenomenon. The perfectionism dimensions Doubts about Actions, Concern over Mistakes and Socially prescribed Perfectionism appeared to be efficient predictors of the Impostor Phenomenon. Contrary to Perfectionistic Strivings, Perfectionistic Concerns as a maladaptive perfectionism factor strongly contributed to the prediction of the Impostor Phenomenon. Theoretical and practical implications of the associations between the Impostor Phenomenon and multidimensional perfectionism are discussed.
... It restricts them from reaching their full potential as they continuously question themselves whether they are doing it right (Clance, 1985). Being the primary care takers, parental influence and parental rearing styles, which may vary from healthy bonding to overprotection and control may exert differential influence on children (Sonnak and Towell, 2001;Want and Kleitman, 2006). Other family environment factors like control, support, communication and emotional expression was also significant in the development of impostor syndrome in the early stages of life (Bussotti, 1991). ...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to integrate impostor syndrome and leadership research to identify antecedents of impostor syndrome, their impact on sustainable leader behaviors. The paper also postulates the moderating effect of mindfulness and leader member exchange on impostor syndrome and sustainable leader behaviors, respectively. Design/methodology/approach The paper relies on an integrative approach of literature review on impostor syndrome and leadership. After identifying gaps in impostor syndrome research and its intersectionality with the constructs of contextual leadership theory, an integrative conceptual framework was formulated incorporating antecedents, consequences and moderators of impostor syndrome. Findings Three antecedents of impostor syndrome were identified from the literature, namely, gender, family/social role expectation and personality traits. Additionally, this paper also unearths contextual factors as yet another antecedent to impostor syndrome. Negative impact of impostor syndrome on leader behaviors such as managerial decision-making, innovative work behavior (IWB) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) were established by connecting those to the three primary characteristics of impostor syndrome, namely, low self-efficacy, fear of failure and perceived fraudulence, respectively. Finally, the paper also posits the moderating role of leader member exchange and mindfulness and proposes mindfulness training as an effective intervention for impostor syndrome. Research limitations/implications This being a conceptual paper will benefit from empirical studies that corroborate theoretical posits. The scope of studying the effect of impostor syndrome on sustainable leader behavior was limited to three major variables, namely, managerial decision-making, IWB and OCB. Thus, it calls for a more elaborate model of impostor syndrome including other relevant leader behaviors. Practical implications The model when applied in organizational context addresses the need for mindfulness training to reduce the effect of impostor syndrome among leaders. Leaders will exhibit sustainable behaviors when provided with the right kind of training. Originality/value The study attempts to integrate the two independent constructs, impostor syndrome and leadership to establish a novel and meaningful connection and throws light to the unaddressed antecedents, consequences and moderators of its impact on sustainable leader behaviors. From learning and development practitioners’ perspective, it also signifies the effectiveness of mindfulness training among employees’ personal and professional development.
... Where literature to date has focused on the importance of increasing identification as a student (Bliuc et al., 2011a) or a member of the discipline (Smyth et al., 2015), we now present evidence that, in cases where this new identity is incompatible with existing perceptions of the self, there are a number of undermining effects associated with attempts to internalize this new identity. These findings provide initial quantitative support for the derived link between qualitative accounts of feelings of insecurity and displacement when a student enters an educational social environment at odds with their home social environment (Granfield, 1991;Lawler, 1999;Ostrove & Cole, 2003;Reay, 2005;Skeggs, 1997;Stewart & Ostrove, 1993) and the feelings of inadequacy and impostorism described in the procrastination and self-handicapping literature (Aitken, 1982;Ellis & Knaus, 1977;Want & Kleitman, 2006). ...
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The current study builds on links between academic social identification and learning behaviours and extends these models by also considering the level of compatibility between the student identity and the pre‐existing self‐concept. This is a crucial extension, in the context of broadening access to higher education and fostering belonging and learning in nontraditional students. Further, where previous work focused on learning behaviours that enhance performance (often learning approaches), we also consider performance‐undermining behaviours (self‐handicapping and procrastination). These effects are explored in survey responses from an undergraduate student sample (N = 121) from UK and broader European samples. Participants were predominantly female (69%) and native English speakers (87%). Three models of the relationships between these variables were tested using Mplus. Results indicate that performance‐undermining behaviours are predicted by identity incompatibility, but not identification level; deep learning approaches are predicted by identification level, but not identity incompatibility. This provides first evidence that identity incompatibility is not just a moderator of the identification‐learning relationships but, in fact, a separate identity process for consideration. We also present initial evidence for a mediation model, where in the identity variables are related to procrastination and self‐handicapping via learning approaches.
... Self-handicapping defined as a strategy that people use to keep and raise positive self-image in their own eyes as well as others' eyes (Hobden & Pliner, 1995;Lotar, 2005). Self-handicapping is also placing obstacles in the path of academic performance that students may use to enhance the opportunity of excusing failure or accepting credit for the success (Berglas & Jones, 1978;Lotar, 2005;Want & Kleitman, 2006). Self-handicapping is usually used to draw the attention of others from low performance toward other reasons such as lack of prior study, illness, lack of attention, or any other behavioral and claimed self-handicapping strategies (Berglas & Jones, 1978;Ganda & Boruchovitch, 2015;Harris & Snyder, 1986;Midgley & Urdan, 2001;Urdan, Midgley, & Anderman, 1998). ...
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This study aimed to examine the relationship between perfectionism and academic self-handicapping strategies among gifted students in Jordan. This study used a mixed-method approach to explore the relationship as well as exploring any other factors associated with using such strategies. The Revised Almost Perfect Scale (APSR) and the Academic Self-Handicapping Strategies Scale were used to measure perfectionism and academic self-handicapping among 242 gifted students on a high school for gifted learners. Subsequently, the researchers conducted four focus group discussions with 23 gifted students to identify the factors that may lead those students to use self-handicapping strategies. The results showed that Self-handicapped students were 4.58 times more likely to be maladaptive perfectionists than non-self-handicapped students. The results also revealed a combination of environmental, personal, and cultural factors that contributed to the use of these strategies by gifted students. This study has proposed an explanatory model to illustrate the relationship between perfectionism, academic self-handicapping, and factors that might be related. Finally, this study provided a range of educational implications that can be used in the field of gifted education.
... Moreover, these children develop a sense of being an impostor and a feeling that their achievements are "fake" and an undeserved illusion (Langford & Clance, 1993). There is evidence that lack of parental care and greater family achievement orientation are associated with higher levels of impostorism (King & Cooley, 1995;Want & Kleitman, 2006). Studies have further associated impostorism with low self-esteem (Peteet, Brown, Lige, & Lanaway, 2015), lack of self-confidence (Leary, Patton, & Orlando, 2000), shame proneness (Cowman & Ferrari, 2002), and loneliness (Stein et al., 2019). ...
Article
Avoidant attachment is associated with numerous negative interpersonal outcomes. The current study tested whether self-perceptions of impostorism intensify negative interpersonal outcomes of attachment-related avoidance. One hundred and twenty-nine male Israeli veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur War were assessed using self-report measures of attachment orientations (avoidance, anxiety), impostorism, beliefs about others' benevolence , marital quality, and loneliness. As hypothesized, hierarchical regressions revealed significant interactions of impostorism and attachment avoidance after accounting for main effects, showing that impostorism intensified the association between avoidant attachment, on the one hand, and more negative beliefs about others' benevolence, lower marital quality, and heightened loneliness, on the other hand. The current study is among the first to systematically assess the relational implications of impostorism and suggests that high im-postorism is a risk factor for aversive outcomes in the interpersonal realm, especially among highly attachment-avoidant people.
... Otherwise, the clinical literature and transversal studies regarding impostorism suggest that parental overprotection is one of its antecedents (Harvey & Katz, 1985;Li, Hughes, & Thu, 2014;Sonnak & Towell, 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006). Indeed, according to Sonnak and Towell (2001), parental overprotection contributes to the emergence of impostorism by limiting children's capacity to self-attribute achievements. ...
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The goal of this longitudinal study was to explore the familial and personal characteristics that are potentially shared by two related phenomena observed in students: negative bias in self-evaluation of academic competence and impostorism. Specifically, this study aimed to examine whether the same set of characteristics (parental overprotection, conditional parental support, test anxiety, concern over mistakes and self-esteem) could be combined to predict both phenomena in high school students. To do so, these characteristics were first measured in 648 7th and 8th graders. In the three following years, students’ negative bias and impostorism were assessed. A latent profile analysis revealed a two-class model of characteristics. One group presented a “negative” pattern characterized by high parental overprotection, conditional parental support, test anxiety and concern over mistakes, and low self-esteem. Another group presented a “positive” pattern: students’ scores on all familial and personal variables were more favorable. As hypothesized, membership in the “negative” profile predicted negative bias and impostorism at T2, T3, and T4. This highlights the principle of multifinality and suggests that the two phenomena might be distinct aspects of a single broader issue such as a tendency toward a biased interpretation of information about one’s own competence, or self-protection.
... Persons suffering from the IP tend to self-handicapping, fend off praise and have the feeling of stacking up, which leads to the fear of being exposed (Want and Kleitman 2006;Kumar and Jagacinski 2006). Similarities have been found between the depressive attributional style and the IP. ...
Article
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The Impostor Phenomenon (IP) is a characteristic, which is composed of cognitions of inauthenticity, in conjunction with fear of failure, as well as fear of being exposed as a fraud. The IP was first described by Clance (1985), who also developed an accompanying questionnaire. However, this questionnaire left room for optimization (item content, pysychometric properties, and the representing IP as a multidimensional construct). Therefore, we developed an item pool of 450 new items based on the theoretical foundation. The core element characteristics are measured using the theoretically derived scales: Competence Doubt, Working Style, Alienation, Other-Self Divergence, Frugality and Need for Sympathy. Based on a German sample (N = 771, 51% female), aged 18 to 70 years, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis resulted in a selection of 31 items. The six scales show satisfactory internal consistencies between .69 and .92. Initial construct validity showed positive correlations with convergent (Neuroticism) and discriminant measures (Self-Esteem). The Impostor-Profile (IPP31) is a theoretically founded multidimensional german questionnaire that can be applied in research and practice.
... Notably, it affects up to two out of three people in certain settings (Gravois, 2007); however, in settings such as academia, its prevalence might be grossly underestimated in the predominant culture of silence in higher education (Evans et al., 2018). Highly demanding families and professional environments, psychological traits, such as perfectionism or insecurity, and social inequalities, are all putative contributors to the imposter syndrome (Want and Kleitman, 2006;Dickerson, 2019;Mullangi and Jagsi, 2019;Chrousos and Mentis, 2020). Despite its high prevalence and human toll, the potential neurobiological underpinnings of the syndrome and its evolutionary origin have been scarcely explored. ...
... Although much of the earliest literature focused on women, it is clear that imposter syndrome affects both men and women (although 16 articles found greater symptoms of imposter syndrome among women 17,22,27,[29][30][31][32][33]36,37,40,44,51,56,57,67 , 17 articles found no gender effect). Additionally, imposter syndrome affects individuals across the age spectrum (two studies reported that increased age was associated with decreased imposter feelings 12,64 while three studies found no age effect 43,56,68 ). ...
... ise kendini sabotaj için bireyin korumaya değer verdiği bir öz-saygısının olmasının gerekli olduğunu; çünkü korumaya değer öz-saygısı olmayan bireyin kendini sabotaja daha az başvurma ihtiyacı içerisinde olacağını belirtmiştir. Want ve Kleitman (2006) ise kendini sabotaja eğilimleri yüksek olan bireylerin ebeveynlerinde koruyucu ve otoriter anne baba tutumları olduğunu, demokratik anne baba tutumunun ise kendini sabotaj davranışını azalttığını tespit ederek kendini sabotaj davranışlarında aile etkisini vurgulamıştır. Bazı araştırmacılar da (Rhodewalt ve Tragakis, 2002) yeteneklerin değişmeyeceğine yönelik inanç besleyenlerin kendini sabotaja daha yatkın olduklarını belirtmiştir. ...
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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between gender, age, different dimensions of perfectionism (positive perfectionism, negative perfectionism, order), and self-sabotage in university students. For this purpose, the participants of the study consisted of 598 students selected through proportional cluster sampling. The participants answered the Personal Information Form, Positive-Negative Perfectionism Scale and Self-Sabotage Scale. As a result of the study, the positive and the order subscale scores of perfectionism and age predicted negatively self-sabotage while, negative perfectionism predicted self-sabotage positively. However, the results revealed that sex was not a significant predictor of self-sabotage. In future studies, it can be investigated which variables act as mediators in the relationship between different dimensions of perfectionism and self-sabotage. (PDF) Üniversite Öğrencilerinde Kendini Sabotajın Yordayıcısı Olarak Cinsiyet, Yaş ve Farklı Mükemmeliyetçilik Tarzları. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341522880_Universite_Ogrencilerinde_Kendini_Sabotajin_Yordayicisi_Olarak_Cinsiyet_Yas_ve_Farkli_Mukemmeliyetcilik_Tarzlari [accessed Jan 03 2021].
... Further, impostors tend to attribute failures to their own shortcomings and successes to external factors rather than their own skills and effort (Thompson et al. 1998). This is consistent with their low self-confidence in their abilities, even though they may achieve at the same or higher levels than others (Clance and O'Toole 1988;Want and Kleitman 2006). In sum, impostors persist in feeling that their performance is inadequate and believe that sooner or later they will be revealed as frauds to those who have praised their achievements. ...
Article
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Those who suffer from impostorism experience feelings of fraudulence, worrying that they are fooling others about their abilities and that they will eventually be exposed. While prior research emphasizes the trait-like durability of impostor personalities, we argue that impostorism is sensitive to experiences in proximate social environments, such as graduate school programs. The authors examine the relationship between perceived characteristics of graduate school program environments and students’ impostor feelings using survey data from a large university (N = 1,476). Results demonstrate that students’ perceptions of lower-quality mentorship, increased competition, and increased isolation are associated with more frequent impostor fears. The authors discuss the consequences of impostorism in academia and review implications for program policies and future research.
... This is important, as Want et al. has described that "there is a strong and positive correlation between the impostor phenomenon and selfhandicapping.". 13 How is Imposter Syndrome perpetuated? While there are many contributors to IS, 14 lack of diversity in the workplace may enhance feelings of IS. 15 Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor described in her memoir that at Princeton, she felt like she did not belong. ...
Article
What is Imposter Syndrome, whom does it affect, and when, and why is it important to recognize? In this multidisciplinary article, the phenomenon is defined and discussed by a psychiatrist, followed by strategic advice by a radiologist, interventional radiologist and radiation oncologist.
... The construct of IS includes feeling perceived fraudulence (i.e., believing that you are not worthy of your success or position; c.f. Kolligian and Sternberg, 1991) and fear that others will discover you are a fraud and intense fear of failure (Clance, 1985). Others have described the syndrome in terms of the inaccuracy between self-assessed competence and performance and actual performance (Kets de Vries, 2005;Want and Kleitman, 2006). These inaccurate perceptions arise, in part, due to systematic discounting of positive feedback about performance and because individuals may ascribe accomplishments to luck or over-preparation. ...
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This study examined the prevalence and impact of imposter syndrome (IS) on a sample of pre-service educators. We report a majority of pre-service educators experience IS; 93% experience moderate levels and 54% had frequent or severe levels of imposter thoughts, and further that IS was negatively associated with educator well-being. We also investigated the effects of minority group membership on experiences of IS, and found that IS was more severe for women and queer minorities, but less severe for racial minorities. Lastly, we investigated the potential for healthy emotion regulation to mitigate the effects of IS on pre-service educator well-being and found that adaptive emotion regulation strategy use mitigates the effects of IS, which may provide a viable means for addressing this pervasive issue among educators, and specifically among those with minoritized identities. We discuss the implications of our findings for educational training and improving the experiences of pre-service educators.
... The Impostor Phenomenon (IP) is a conglomerate of feelings, thoughts and, behaviors characterizing highly successful people, who doubt their abilities (Clance, 1985), attribute their success externally, feel like they have deceived others, and fear being exposed as an intellectual fraud (Kolligian & Sternberg, 1991). The resulting fear of failure leads to self-handicapping (Want & Kleitman, 2006) and perfectionism (Dudȃu, 2014). Also, self-esteem and IP are highly negatively associated (Vergauwe et al., 2015). ...
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The learned helplessness model of the Impostor Phenomenon is an exploratory approach to explain the Impostor Phenomenon by linking the constructs of growth mindset, learned helplessness, grit, thought-action fusion, and defensive pessimism. In this study, we (a) confirmatorily tested the factor structure of the English IPP30, (b) examined the instrument's nomological validity, and (c) exploratorily formulated a path model to explain the effects of learned helplessness on the Impostor Phenomenon. The sample consisted of n = 376 persons (46% female). The CFI indicated the bifactorial model of the English IPP30 as best-fitting, while the subscale correlations suggested the instrument's nomological validity. The exploratory path model showed sufficient goodness of fit. It proclaims a labeling as talented that decreases the growth mindset expression, which negatively correlates with learned helplessness. In addition, the model states learned helplessness as a central model component associated with grit, thought-action fusion, and finally, the Impostor Phenomenon.
... Although to date we lack studies which have specifically analyzed the relationship between parental involvement with homework and self-handicapping, there is evidence that students develop better intrinsic motivation towards homework when they feel that their parents' love does not depend on their academic achievement (Kowalski & Froiland, 2020). In contrast, parental involvement styles based on rigid control, which are predominantly critical and where emotional support is absent or inconsistent, are related to lower levels of selfconfidence and self-worth in the children (Olivari et al., 2018;Pinquart & Gerke, 2019;Pychyl et al., 2002), and are consequently one of the factors that explain the beginning and maintenance of failure-avoidance behaviors, such as selfhandicapping (Jensen & Deemer, 2020;Thompson, 2004;Want & Kleitman, 2006). In this regard, pioneering authors in the field such as Jones and Berglas (1978) suggested that children's lack of certainty about unconditional love from their parents is part of the aetiology of self-handicapping, as children would grow up with uncertainty about whether their parents would continue to love and accept them if they failed. ...
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Research in the field of homework has confirmed the significant association between students’ perceptions of their parents’ involvement and their motivation and engagement with these tasks. In this study we analyzed the possible mediating role of self-handicapping strategies in the relationship between perceptions of parental support (content-oriented and autonomy-oriented support) when doing homework and the students’ behavioral engagement (time spent, effort made, amount of homework done, level of procrastination). The participants were 643 students in compulsory secondary education (between 7th and 10th grade). The results showed that the lower the perceptions of support from parents when doing homework, the greater the students’ use of self-handicapping strategies and the worse their behavioral engagement (less effort, less amount of homework done, more procrastination) and vice versa. These findings seem to indicate that self-handicapping is a motivational strategy that would partially explain students’ poor behavioral engagement with homework in the absence of parental support.
... With the inability to internalize personal achievements, college students suffering from impostor syndrome put more pressure on themselves and fail to experience positive emotions aroused by success, resulting in a higher level of emotional disturbance (Cokley et al., 2017). In addition, the procrastination generated by impostor syndrome might contribute to time pressure for college students, which consequently leads to more severe negative feelings (Want & Kleitman, 2006). From the discussion above, there was evidence of a chain mediation effect in this study. ...
Article
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Using a longitudinal research approach, we assessed 1865 college students twice with a six-month interval to reveal the underlying mechanism of perfectionism in depressive symptoms. After controlling for gender, age, and family income, significant direct effects of positive and negative perfectionism on depressive symptoms were verified. At the same time, self-compassion and impostor syndrome acted as mediators of this relationship. Specifically, positive perfectionism acted as a protective factor on depressive symptoms through the chain structure of two self-compassion dimensions and impostor syndrome. Negative perfectionism was a risk factor for depressive symptoms through the chain structure of negative self-compassion and impostor syndrome. The results above indicated the contrasting effects of the two dimensions of perfectionism and self-compassion on depressive symptoms.
... Consistent with the results of this study, other evidence indicates that the tendency of individuals high in impostor fears to derogate themselves, externalize the causes of their success, dismiss the positive affirmations of others and report feelings of fraudulence may be appropriately characterized as self-diminishing self-presentational behaviors whose purpose is to protect one's self-image by reducing the negative interpersonal implications of possible failure. Indeed, impostor phenomenon correlates positively with self-handicapping tendencies (Cowman & Ferrari, 2002;Ferrari & Thompson, 2006;Ross et al., 2001;Want & Kleitman, 2006) and negatively with self-enhancing self-presentation strategies (McElwee & Yurak, 2007). Self-handicapping (SH) describes a group of behaviors used to avoid negative evaluations by others and to protect own self-image, which involves placing an obstacle in the path of an evaluation so that possible failure can be attributed to the PsyHub handicap (Berglas & Jones, 1978). ...
Article
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The impostor phenomenon (Clance, 1985) refers to the psychological experience of individuals who perceive themselves as intellectual frauds and fear of being exposed as impostors. Previous studies suggest that the fear of failure, the fear of success, and low self-esteem are preconditions that foster the occurrence of impostor feelings (e.g., Neureiter & Traut-Mattausch, 2016). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the impostor phenomenon and interpersonal guilt as conceived in Control-Mastery Theory (Faccini et al., 2020), and their association with anxiety and depression. Methods. 343 subjects completed the Interpersonal Guilt Rating Scale-15s (IGRS-15s; Faccini et al, 2020), the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS; Clance, 1985), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger et al., 1983), and the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI II; Beck et al., 1996). Results. As expected, impostor phenomenon was significantly associated with self-hate, survivor guilt and omnipotence guilt. The hypothesis that these kinds of guilt and the impostor phenomenon can contribute to anxiety and depression has also been confirmed. Conclusions. This study suggests that people who experience impostor fears struggle with maladaptive feelings of guilt related to pathogenic beliefs about oneself and significant others, favoring depression and anxiety. Therefore, working on these aspects can be essential in treating these patients.
... Other studies not focused on medicine, on the other hand, have shown no difference between genders (20,21). Similarly, imposter syndrome has been found to decrease with age in some studies; whereas others, such as ours, show no difference (19,(22)(23)(24)(25). Despite the differences, or lack thereof, identified in prior studies, our data demonstrates that neither gender nor age correlate with the presence of, or level of, imposter syndrome in the general surgery resident population. ...
Article
Background Imposter syndrome occurs when high-achieving individuals have a pervasive sense of self-doubt combined with fear of being exposed as a fraud despite objective measures of success. This threatens mental health and well-being. The prevalence and severity of imposter syndrome has not been studied amongst general surgery residents on a large scale. The primary outcome of this study was the prevalence and severity of imposter syndrome. Study Design The Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale was administered to residents at six academic general surgery residency programs. Multivariable analysis was performed to identify significant differences amongst groups and predictive characteristics of imposter syndrome. Results 144 residents completed the assessment (response rate=46.6%; 47.2% male). Only 22.9% had “none to mild” or “moderate” imposter syndrome. A majority (76%) had “significant” or “severe” imposter syndrome. There were no significant differences in mean scores amongst male and female residents (p=0.69). White residents had an average score of 71.3 and non-whites 68.3 (p=.24). There was no significant difference between PGY years 1-5 or research residents (p=0.72). There were no significant differences based upon USMLE or ABSITE scores (p=0.18 and 0.37, respectively). Conclusion Imposter syndrome is prevalent amongst general surgery residents, with 76% of residents reporting either significant or severe imposter syndrome. There were no predictive characteristics based upon demographics or academic achievement, suggesting that there is something either inherent to those choosing general surgery training or the general surgery training culture that leads to such substantive levels of imposter syndrome.
... In accordance, Schubert and Bowker (2019) showed that impostors are low and fragile in self-esteem. Low self-efficacy (Jöstl et al., 2012;Neureiter and Traut-Mattausch, 2017) and selfhandicapping (Want and Kleitman, 2006) are also related to the IP. In addition, the perceived fraudulence, as a central component of the IP (Kolligian and Sternberg, 1991), is assessed by the subscale Alienation. ...
Article
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The Impostor-Profile (IPP) is a six-dimensional questionnaire measuring the Impostor Phenomenon facets. This study aims to test (a) the appropriateness of a total score, (b) measurement invariance (MI) between gender, (c) the reliability of the IPP, and (d) the convergent validity of the IPP subscales. The sample consisted of N = 482 individuals (64% female). To identify whether the scales of the IPP form a total score, we compared four models: (1) six correlating subscales, (2) a general factor model, (3) a second-order model with one second-order factor and six first-order factors, and (4) a bifactorial model with six group factors. The bifactorial model obtained the best fit. This supports the assumption of a total impostor score. The inspection of structural validity between gender subgroups showed configural, metric, and partial scalar MI. Factor mean comparisons supported the assumption that females and males differ in latent means of the Impostor Phenomenon expressions. The omega coefficients showed sufficient reliability (≥0.71), except for the subscale Need for Sympathy. Overall, the findings of the bifactor model fit and construct validity support the assumption that the measurement through total expression is meaningful in addition to the theoretically formulated multidimensionality of the Impostor Phenomenon.
... The findings were consistent with the study explored in Chinese context (Want & Kleitman, 2006), while there might be other direction in the nature of relationship existed where parenting warmth practices have direct relationships with the self-discipline of the children (Romagnoli & Wall, 2012). This is further expressed with the different pathways of parenting in the development of various categories of behavioural outcomes among the children. ...
Article
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Parenting practices vary across cultures as Western, American and Asian cultures have entirely different kind of approaches towards the process of socialization. Contemporary Socio-psychological researches have highlighted parental acceptance and rejection as one of the major contributor in developing behavioural outcome among young children. In order to understand the parenting practices in Pakistani indigenous culture, an in-depth scientific enquiry was required that how parental acceptance and rejection dimensions of parenting practices manifest the social and antisocial behavioral outcomes among young children. The cross-sectional study was conducted in Lahore, an educational hub, socioeconomically diverse, and the second largest city of the country. The sample comprised 816 male students (emerging youth) from public sector colleges of Lahore, Pakistan by employing proportional allocation due to unequal enrollments at each respective college. The results indicated that perceived parental rejection accounts 40.3% variations in violent behavioural outcome while warmth parenting practices accounts for 48.2% variations in self-confidence among students. The study suggested that there is a consistent need to promote the positive parenting interventions, such as increase in parental awareness, knowledge, and attitude, parent-child interaction, and parental attitudes, which may cause to improve in the prevalent parenting practices for reducing the risk factors in developmental outcomes of young children.
... They predict poor mental health and psychological distress, including anxiety, depressive tendencies and emotional exhaustion (Chrisman et al., 1995;Clance and Imes, 1978;Clance and O'Toole, 1987;Gibson-Beverly and Schwartz, 2008;Hutchins, 2015;Lane, 2015;Topping and Kimmel, 1985). They are also related to maladaptive achievement-related responses, such as self-handicapping and performance avoidant achievement goals (Cowman and Ferrari, 2002;Kumar and Jagacinski, 2006;Want and Kleitman, 2006). In organisational settings, they are positively associated with ineffective career related behaviour (Neureiter and Traut-Mattausch, 2017) and negatively associated with valued organisational outcomes, such as citizenship behaviour, affective commitment, self-rated productivity and job satisfaction (Grubb and McDowell, 2012;Ling et al., 2020;Vergauwe et al., 2015). ...
Article
Purpose Although the impostor phenomenon is attributed to childhood experiences, theory on achievement motivation indicates that achievement-related fears can also be elicited by the context. Using achievement goal theory as a base, the authors investigate the effect of context-dependent predictors, job-fit, career stage and organisational tenure, on impostor fears. The authors also examined gender and the achievement-related traits, self-efficacy and locus of control, as predictors of impostor fears to advance knowledge on antecedents to impostor fears. Design/methodology/approach Two studies were conducted with 270 and 280 participants, each. In Study 1, a subset of 12 respondents participated in follow-up interviews. Findings Impostor fears tended to be predicted by organisational tenure and career stage in both studies and job-fit in Study 1. Self-efficacy and locus of control predicted impostor fears. Men and women reported similar levels of impostor fears. Practical implications The authors demonstrate the importance of context in eliciting impostor fears and partially support initial descriptions of antecedents to impostor fears. The findings contribute to the development of targeted managerial practices that can help with the development of interventions, such as orientation programmes, that will enhance socialisation processes and mitigate impostor fears. Originality/value The literature on imposter fears has not addressed their situational predictors, which the authors argue are important elements in the genesis and maintenance of impostor fears. The authors draw on achievement goal theory to explain the pattern of findings related to key situational characteristics and their influence on imposter fears. The findings for Sri Lanka, on personality predictors, are similar to those reported in studies focused on North America providing evidence of cross-cultural applicability of the concept.
... 6. IP has a developmental origin. Two common upbringing patterns are observed among individuals with IP, either they are brought up in a family with a lack of cohesiveness among the family members or they have an over-protective environment (Li, Hughes, & Thu, 2014;Want & Kleitman, 2006). 7. IP is also characterised by the intense feeling of anxiety and worry. ...
Chapter
Imposter Phenomenon is a perception of intellectual fraudulence and is predominantly evident among successful women. It has been exhaustively studied in its connection with women’s perception of success and achievement. This chapter aims at providing an extensive account of literature related to how the imposter phenomenon has significantly impacted the mental health status of women. The first section of the chapter gives an overview of the imposter phenomenon and how it makes the experience of success aversive for women. The developmental origin along with the personality dispositions associated with Imposter Phenomenon are discussed. The second section provides a systematic review of the existing literature that studies the impact of imposter phenomenon on mental health. This section unveils that imposter phenomenon results in a number of mental health ailments including anxiety, depressive disorder etc. The third section attempts to explain the psychotherapeutic interventions for dealing with the Imposter Phenomenon. In the end, the chapter concludes that the Imposter Phenomenon has been one important, yet neglected aspect of mental health, especially for high-achieving women and awareness and therapeutic intervention, are necessary.
Article
Impostor phenomenon (IP) is an experience of psychological discomfort where some high-achieving people disbelieve their success. Those experiencing IP feel undeserving and fear being discovered as a fraud in one’s area of expertise. This study examined how early career researchers or ECRs of Hispanic/Latino origin in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields described ethnicity-based experiences of IP. The research question examined how Hispanic/Latino ECRs (current PhD students and postdoctoral trainees) in STEM describe ethnicity-based experiences of IP during doctoral or postdoctoral training. Twenty-nine US-based ECRs were sequentially surveyed and interviewed. Participants were recruited purposefully and by snowball sampling through professional networks and social media. Descriptive statistics from surveys indicated that participants experienced moderate to intense IP at the time of the study with a mean score of 73.65/100 indicating high IP. Interviews with the same participants were coded and thematically displayed using constant comparison. The following themes were constructed: 1) family background and first-generation status, 2) disparity in observable traits and ethnic identity, 3) communicating in English, 4) enhance diversity, and, 5) underrepresentation and isolation. IP in connection with racial, ethnic, and other identities is poorly understood; culturally-informed understanding requires more research.
Chapter
As a PhD student, I experienced significant stress which impacted on my wellbeing during my candidature. In this chapter, I reflect on my doctoral journey, exploring the causes for my increased feelings of stress and anxiety. I analyse my experiences through the lenses of the transactional model of stress and coping, the impact of imposter syndrome, and the effects of comparisons with others. Finally, I provide several strategies to help other PhD students manage their levels of stress and anxiety in their doctoral candidature.
Chapter
The word impostor syndrome was first described by Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes as a persistent psychological experience of perceived intellectual and professional fraudulence, after observing many high-achieving women who tended to believe they were not competent. Impostor syndrome or impostor phenomenon is when people experience being an impostor and the thoughts and feelings elicited by such experience. It was thought to occur more frequently in women than in men, but gender tends to be insignificant with regard to the severity of impostor syndrome. Women found in the fields of pure and applied science, engineering, animal and human health, and technology, fields perceived as more of male dominated, often experience impostor syndrome. This chapter examines what impostor syndrome is or is not, causation factors, types, its characteristics, and how female scientists harness the feeling of being an impostor in order to restore a positive feeling. Thus, a greater understanding of what impostor syndrome is and its characteristics may lead to effective interventions that will reduce its consequences and some psychological distress associated with it, increase job satisfaction, and enhance performance in workplaces.
Chapter
Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual lacks self-esteem and confidence in their ability to perform well in positions of responsibility and tries to make up for this inadequacy with excess effort and workload. Although it can occur in men, it is most prevalent in women. The healthcare sector, specifically the medical profession, has a number of characteristics that facilitate the appearance of this phenomenon, for example: a high number of women in intermediate positions, high professional skills, and good educational qualifications. The symptoms of this affliction can negatively affect job performance and reduce the sufferer's quality of life.
Article
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La transition du primaire au secondaire est, pour plusieurs élèves, porteuse d'inquiétudes et d'espoirs envers le fonctionnement de leur futur milieu. En raison des incertitudes devant les exigences du futur milieu, elle coïnciderait aussi chez certains avec l'émergence d'un sentiment d'imposture. Cette étude examine chez 578 élèves (306 filles) ayant répondu à des questionnaires en sixième année et en secondaire 1, le lien entre leur sentiment d'imposture et leurs anticipations envers le secondaire. Elle vérifie aussi si le sentiment d'imposture en sixième année contribue à leur adaptation à leur arrivée au secondaire. Les résultats indiquent un lien positif entre le sentiment d'imposture et les anticipations négatives (r = .39), mais pas de lien avec les anticipations positives. Le sentiment d'imposture des élèves est lié significativement aux indicateurs de leur adaptation motivationnelle, émotionnelle et cognitive.
Article
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Imposter phenomenon is defined as a sense of intellectual fraudulence and an inability to internalize success and competency. Although imposter phenomenon has been noted in several populations, literature is sparse that focuses on mental health professionals. In addition, little is known about the relationships between imposter phenomenon, compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction for mental health workers. Using a survey design with a convenience sample of 158 mental health workers, this study found that imposter phenomenon was positively associated with compassion fatigue, as well as negatively associated with compassion satisfaction, when controlling for years of work and age. Further, the combination of lower levels of compassion satisfaction and higher levels of burnout predicted higher levels of imposter phenomenon. Implications and preventative measures are discussed.
Article
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Background and Objective: Self-handicapping is a set of behaviors to externalize failures and internalize success. The present study aimed to determine the status of self-handicapping and its association with some academic variables among students of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 296 students of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. The participants were selected via random sampling and probability proportional to size sampling. Data were collected using a self-report questionnaire. Data were analyzed in SPSS software (Version 16) using descriptive and analytical tests at 95% confidence level. Results: The mean age of students was reported as 22.21±2.10 (age range of 18-years). The mean score of self-handicapping was 16.64±3.48, which indicated that the participants obtain 66.56% of the maximum score of self-handicapping. Dental students were engaged in more self-handicapping, compared to other students (P=0.011). Moreover, it was shown that married students self-handicapped more than single students (P=0.025), and older students obtained higher scores in self-handicapping (r=0.144; P= 0.025). Conclusion: Due to the fact that students gained more than 50% of the maximum self-handicapping score, it is essential to plan relevant intervention programs and conduct further studies to identify the effective causes of self-handicapping.
Article
Background: Imposter syndrome is common among early career nurse researchers and often has a considerable impact on those affected. It can cause various problems, including anxiety, self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, and therefore has significant potential to adversely affect personal and professional development. Aim: To critically explore the concept of imposter syndrome among early-to-mid career nurse researchers. Discussion: There may be several reasons why imposter syndrome is common among nurse researchers. Evidence suggests it is ubiquitous in other academic disciplines across the higher education sector, particularly in early-to-mid career researchers. It is unclear how or why nurse researchers are affected by this phenomenon, and whether feeling like an imposter is problematic in this context. Conclusion: Imposter syndrome can be deeply unsettling, particularly at times of specific exposure or peer review. It is relatively normal for even the most experienced, successful researchers to feel like this. Related feelings of self-doubt and critical self-reflection are essential in appropriate measures to research and can reduce researchers' potential for making significant mistakes. Implications for practice: When managed appropriately, imposter syndrome can be important in scholarly activity and ongoing personal and professional development. Recognising this is an important first step in mitigating related feelings of inadequacy.
Article
Objetivo: Este estudo objetiva identificar os grupos de pós-graduandos stricto sensu da área de negócios que possuem níveis mais elevados de intensidade do Fenômeno Impostor (FI) a partir das características pessoais e do background familiar. Método: Foram obtidas 1.816 participações válidas que representam 11,37% da população de pós-graduandos de cursos brasileiros de mestrado acadêmico, mestrado profissional e doutorado acadêmico em Administração, Contabilidade e Economia matriculados em 2018. O FI foi mensurado por meio da escala Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale e as variáveis de agrupamento foram: gênero, cor e etnia, modalidade de Ensino Médio, nível de escolaridade da figura materna e paterna, e por fim, geração ao ingressar no Ensino Superior e na pós-graduação stricto sensu. Os dados foram analisados por meio do teste de Kruskal-Wallis com post hoc de Mann-Whitney. Resultados: A forma como o Fenômeno Impostor é vivenciado é diferente entre os gêneros, evidenciando a importância de abordar o FI como um constructo bidimensional. Para a modalidade de Ensino Médio verificou-se que alunos de escolas particulares possuem maiores níveis de impostorismo, assim como os que a figura paterna e materna possuem ensino médio completo. Discentes da segunda geração a ingressar no ensino superior também apresentaram maior nível de sentimentos impostores, enquanto a cor e etnia e geração a ingressar na pós-graduação stricto sensu não apresentaram significância. Contribuição: A bidimensionalidade do FI, a lente da Teoria da Atribuição, a confrontação com as premissas da literatura e as considerações práticas para minimizar o impostorismo apresentam-se como as principais implicações da pesquisa.
Article
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Impostors are individuals who believe their successes are not due to their own ability, but because of either luck or the notion that they must work harder than others. The relationship between impostor tendencies and different behavioral and affective variables was examined. With the present study's sample (N = 436), controlling for social desirability, impostor tendencies were significantly correlated with behavioral self-handicapping (r = .52, p < .001), and with shame-proneness (r = .54, p < .001) more than guilt-proneness (r = .28, p < .001). Regression analyses indicated that self-handicapping and shame-proneness were the best predictors of impostor tendencies (r2 = 0.43). Based on these results it seems that strong impostor tendencies are related to, and best predicted by, self-handicapping behaviors and shameprone affect.
Article
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The current study examined the relationship between the imposter phenomenon as measured by the Harvey Imposter Phenomenon (HIP) scale and personality pathology as conceptualized by the DSM-III-R. We found that DSM-III-R personality disorder scales accounted for 30% of the variance in the imposter phenomenon (IP) and were best characterized by cluster C Avoidant and Dependent type characteristics. Further, trait and temperament scales of the Schedule of Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP) accounted for 40% of the variance in IP. The top three trait and temperament predictors of IP were Detachment (+), Dependency (+), and Entitlement (−). In addition, Mistrust (+), Workaholism (+), and the Low Self-Esteem subscale of Self-Harm also contributed unique variance in predicting IP scores. These results provide additional evidence for the construct validity of IP as a maladaptive personality style which emphasizes a pervasive sense of inferiority, fear, and self-deprecation.
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the imposter phenomenon (IP) in relation to common achievement dispositions and the Five Factor Model (FFM). A total of 129 college students were administered measures of achievement including the Harvey Imposter Phenomenon, Cooperation, Debilitating Anxiety, Hypercompetitive Attitude, Personal Development Competition, and Self-handicapping scales, in addition to the NEO-PI-R. IP scores were related to all achievement constructs, but were best predicted by Fear of Failure (+) and Self-handicapping (+). Consistent with previous findings [Chae, J. H., Piedmont R., Estadt, B., & Wicks, R. (1995). Personal evaluation of Clance’s impostor phenomenon scale in a Korean sample. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65(3), 468–485.] the IP was related to Neuroticism (+), Extraversion (−), and Conscientiousness (−). However, Neuroticism accounted for the vast majority of variance in the FFM predicting IP scores. In addition, a pattern of correlations was found for the IP and facet scales of the NEO-PI-R that is highly similar to those reported by Chae et al. Taken together, these findings expand our understanding of the IP in achievement and confirm earlier findings for the FFM.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was both to determine if the Impostor Phenomenon (IP) can be reliably and validly assessed in a Korean context and if so, evaluate the construct within the context of Jungian typology and the 5-factor model of personality. A sample of 654 Korean men and women were selected from 4 major Korean cities and administered the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS; Clance & Imes, 1978) along with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI, Form G; Myers & McCaulley, 1985) and NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R; Costa & McCrae, 1992). Results indicated that the CIPS was very reliable, and the pattern of correlates suggested impostors to be introverted types on the MBTI. Results with the NEO-PI-R showed impostors to be very high on neuroticism and low on conscientiousness. This pattern of correlates is similar to other performance-inhibiting constructs such as fear of success and fear of failure. It was argued that IP be construed more as a motivational style than as a distinct clinical syndrome. The IP seems to be less pervasive in Korea than America and these cross-cultural implications were discussed.
Chapter
In 1984, at a point that many felt was the twilight of his golf career, Lee Trevino found himself leading the PGA Championship after the first round. Trevino had not won a tournament since 1981. At the age of 44, he was leading one of the premier events in his sport, a tournament that he would win three days later. When asked to explain his resurgence he replied that he had quit practicing, at his doctor’s orders. Trevino, who had been suffering from chronic back problems, was instructed by his physician to give up his career-long habit of hitting 600 practice shots a day. Trevino cited an unanticipated benefit of his new regimen that was adding to the enjoyment he found in golf; “if I have a bad round, I say, ‘What the hell, my doctor won’t let me practice’ ” (Fowler, 1984, p. D1).
Article
This study empirically tested prior theoretical speculations and clinical observations concerning the impostor phenomenon. The cognitive and affective experiences of “impostors” and nonimpostors were assessed prior to and following feedback on an important evaluative event. As hypothesized, impostors expected to perform less well and were more anxious than were nonimpostors prior to a midterm exam but did not differ in exam performance. Furthermore, impostors felt affectively worse and suffered a greater loss in state self-esteem than did nonimpostors after subjective failure on the exam, but they did not differ from nonimpostors after subjective success. Analyses performed holding initial trait self-esteem scores constant further revealed that initial self-esteem could account for many of the differences between impostors and nonimpostors. However, the crucial differences between these two groups in postfailure affect and state self-esteem could not be accounted for by the fact that impostors were initia...
Article
Explores the hypothesis that alcohol use and underachievement may serve as strategies to externalize the causation of poor performance and to internalize the causation of good performance. Such a strategy may be prominently used especially by those who have a precarious but not entirely negative sense of self-competence. The etiology of this strategic preference may follow either of two scenarios. The child may attach desperate importance to this competence image because competence is the condition for deserving parental love. Or the child may have been rewarded for accidental attributes or performances that do not predict future success, thus leaving him in a position of one who has reached a status he fears he cannot maintain through his own control. The linkage of alcohol appeal to underachievement strategies is stressed; both are seen as expressions of the same overconcern with competence.
Article
Examined the construct validity of the impostor phenomenon (IP) using J. C. Harvey's (1982) measure of IP. IP is defined as an internal experience of intellectual phoniness. A modified version of the IP scale and 7 additional instruments (e.g., a sex-role behavior index, a self-esteem scale) were also administered to 285 university faculty (128 men, 157 women). Men earned a significantly higher mean IP scale score than women. For both sexes, level of faculty rank, self-esteem, and attributing success to effort were negatively related to IP and trait anxiety was positively related to IP. Attributing success to ability was negatively related to IP for men; across sexes there was a moderate, positive relationship between IP and self-monitoring behavior. It is concluded that if experiencing the IP is a barrier to fulfilling one's potential, as is posited by some, then there is a need to refine methods for its early identification and possible intervention. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Reviews research on the impostor phenomenon, an experience of feeling incompetent and of having deceived others about one's abilities. Impostor feelings are shown to be associated with such characteristics as introversion, trait anxiety, a need to look smart to others, a propensity to shame, and a conflictual and nonsupportive family background. The findings are discussed in terms of self psychological theory, with the impostor phenomenon seen as a result of seeking self-esteem by trying to live up to an idealized image to compensate for feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Therapeutic approaches drawing on self psychology and cognitive therapy are suggested. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
the purpose of this paper is to review this research [experiments in social perception and interpersonal relations] and to summarize its conclusions and implications / aim is to summarize what we have learned about the "attribution process" as it occurs in social interaction and the facts that affect its course propositions about information patterns that form the basis for various attributions consider . . . several types of attribution phenomena in which the attributor makes use of the information at his disposal in a highly reasonable manner important exceptions, in which the available information is used in systematically biased and even erroneous ways locus of effect of the covariant cause / temporal relations between cause and effect multiple plausible causes: the discounting effect / constancy of effect / facilitative versus inhibitory causes / ambiguity as to the significance of external causes / reciprocation of harm and benefit / sincerity, veridicality, and attribution of causality / attributions as mediating variables less rational attribution tendencies attribution and control (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The term "impostor phenomenon" is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phoniness that appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women. Certain early family dynamics and later introjection of societal sex-role stereotyping appear to contribute significantly to the development of the impostor phenomenon. Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the impostor phenomenon persist in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample objective evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief. Four factors that contribute to the maintenance of impostor feelings over time are explored. Therapeutic approaches found to be effective in helping women change the impostor self-concept are described. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The aims of this chapter are threefold: First, to review briefly some research on self-confidence and emotional intelligence. Second, to call readers' attention to several life-span developmental studies that point to a diminishing role of cognitive abilities in the prediction of individuals' accomplishments. Third, to suggest future research in the area of social attitudes that may elucidate the emerging role of people's outlooks in such prediction. The discussion that follows the chapter returns to the relationship between intelligence and income. Other issues raised include cross-cultural concerns, and broader issues about the meaning of intelligence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
given that people in general employ self-handicapping strategies in order to protect self-esteem, are there individual differences in people's tendencies to choose this strategy / approach this question from several perspectives examine individuals' proclivities to rely on what will be termed domain-strategy-specific self-handicaps describe attempts to assess more general and pervasive individual differences in self-handicapping tendencies examination of other individual differences that are relevant to different self-handicapping motivations, such as self-esteem protection and self-presentational concerns consideration then will be given to the subject of sex differences in self-handicapping behavior (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examines critical aspects of both the ecological and the person-oriented accounts of observed biases in confidence judgements on tests of cognitive abilities. These biases reflect metacognitive processes involved in test-taking. According to the ecological approach, poor realism of confidence judgements is due to the nature of the items included in general knowledge tests (test-driven biases). The person-oriented approach, however, argues that biases in confidence judgements may be due to a general self-monitoring trait. The present study employed the ‘de-biasing’ procedure proposed by Juslin (1994) for the selection of general knowledge test items, and used a newly developed geographical knowledge test suitable for the Australian population. Two other cognitive tests (Raven's Progressive Matrices and Line Length) were administered in order to determine whether there is a consistency in confidence ratings across diverse tasks. Statistical procedures traditional to both approaches-calibration curves and factor analysis - were employed. The results, with minor qualifications, support both perspectives. The study found a separate confidence factor, indicative of a self-monitoring trait. Two other potential metacognitive factors (i.e. ‘expectation’ and ‘evaluation’, corresponding to self-assessment/planning and self-evaluation) could not be separated from accuracy and speed measures. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Book
Readers who want a less mathematical alternative to the EQS manual will find exactly what they're looking for in this practical text. Written specifically for those with little to no knowledge of structural equation modeling (SEM) or EQS, the author's goal is to provide a non-mathematical introduction to the basic concepts of SEM by applying these principles to EQS, Version 6.1. The book clearly demonstrates a wide variety of SEM/EQS applications that include confirmatory factor analytic and full latent variable models.
Article
Two new scales of parental care and overprotection, and their combination as a Parental Bonding Instrument, are described. On measurements of reliability and validity the scales appear to be acceptable, and are independent of the parent's sex. It would appear that mothers are perceived as significantly more caring and slightly more overprotective than fathers, but that those judgements are not influenced by the sex of the child. Overprotection appears to be associated with lack of care. The scales and scoring method are appended. Norms for a general Sydney population are presented, and the possible influence of age, sex and social class examined.
Article
Most research on self-handicapping has focused on adults. Only a few studies have examined self-handicapping in adolescents or the particular characteristics of the family environment that are associated with self-handicapping. Adolescents (N = 141) and their mothers completed a series of questionnaires assessing adolescent self-handicapping, adolescent dysphoria, and parenting variables in mothers, including parenting styles (care and overprotection) and parenting stress due to situational variables, parent–child dysfunctional interactions, and behavioral characteristics of the child. Results showed (a) that self-handicapping was positively related to age in girls, but not in boys, (b) that there was a strong relation between self-handicapping and dysphoria in both boys and girls, (c) that mother-rated care negatively predicted self-handicapping in girls beyond the effects due to girls' dysphoria, and (d) that maternal care moderated the relationship between self-handicapping and dysphoria in boys. Maternal care and depressive affect in young persons are independently related to self-handicapping behaviors in adolescents. Results are discussed in terms of implications for the hypothesized etiology of self-handicapping.
Article
The role of perceived parental rearing style, parental background, self-esteem, mental health and demographic variables upon impostor phenomenon [IP; Psychotherapy: Theory Research and Practice, 15, (1978) 241–247] intensity was investigated using a cross-sectional survey design, with 107 subjects (78 females, 29 males). A regression analysis revealed that both greater degree of perceived parental control and lower levels of self-esteem emerged as significant predictors of impostor fears, together accounting for 50% of the variation in impostor scores. Parental care score, parental educational and occupational level and subject's mental health and demographic information did not show a significant relationship to impostor scores. A post-hoc regression analysis indicated, however, that in addition to parental protection, lower care and poorer mental health was significantly related to increasing levels of impostor scores and with subjects having attended private school reporting lower levels of impostor feelings. In addition, subjects classified as impostors were found to report significantly higher GHQ scores (poorer mental health) than non-impostors. These findings, which are interpreted in terms of parenting styles, indicate that the role of parental overprotection may be especially implicated in impostor fears.
Article
Individuals who suffer from impostor fears harbour secret intense feelings of fraudulence in the face of achievement tasks and situations. This study investigated affective and attributional reactions of impostors following success and failure feedback. N = 164 undergraduate students were presented with a vignette depicting either hypothetical success or failure outcomes in a 2 (feedback: success, fail) × 2 (impostor fears: high low) between-subjects factorial design. Participants then responded to post-vignette items which assessed their cognitive, attributional and affective reactions, and completed several personality measures including the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale [Clance P. R. (1985). The impostor phenomenon: Overcoming the fear that haunts your success. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers]. Elements of perfectionism were evident in a propensity on the part of students with high impostor scores to externalise success and hold high standards for self-evaluation, while being intolerant of their failure to meet these standards. Impostors' greater reporting of negative emotions, together with their tendency to attribute failure internally and overgeneralise a single failure to their overall self-concepts underscore the veracity of clinical observations which suggest links between impostor fears, anxiety, and depression. These findings are important to an understanding of the dynamics and treatment of impostor fears.
Article
This study investigates the influence on the realism of confidence judgments of four different factors, the individual, the knowledge domain (crystallized and fluid intelligence), gender and cognitive style (Need-for-Cognition, NfC). Seventy-nine high-school students answered questions on word knowledge (WORD) and logical/spatial ability (DTK); both tests were administered on three occasions with two weeks between each trial. After each test question, each individual gave a confidence rating of his or her answer. The results showed some, but not perfect, individual stability. Furthermore, within-subject differences were found between domains (WORD/DTK); the participants showed better calibration and less overconfidence for the WORD-test as compared to the DTK-test. No stable gender differences were found for any of the two tests. Finally, the results show that having high NfC is not associated with better realism in confidence judgments. These results suggest that the realism of confidence judgments is, at least on the distal level, influenced by many different factors.
Article
Experiments have shown that, generally, people are overconfident about the correctness of their answers to questions. Cognitive psychologists have attributed this to biases in the way people generate and handle evidence for and against their views. The overconfidence phenomenon and cognitive psychologists' accounts of its origins have recently given rise to three debates. Firstly, ecological psychologists have proposed that overconfidence is an artefact that has arisen because experimenters have used question material not representative of the natural environment. However, it now appears that some overconfidence remains even after this problem has been remedied. Secondly, it has been proposed that overconfidence is an artefactual regression effect that arises because judgments contain an inherently random component. However, those claiming this appear to use the term overconfidence to refer to a phenomenon quite different from the one that the cognitive psychologists set out to explain. Finally, a debate has arisen about the status of perceptual judgments. Some claim that these evince only underconfidence and must, therefore, depend on mechanisms fundamentally different from those subserving other types of judgment. Others have obtained overconfidence with perceptual judgments and argue that a unitary theory is more appropriate. At present, however, no single theory provides an adequate account of the many diverse factors that influence confidence in judgment.
Article
An account is given of attachment theory as a way of conceptualizing the propensity of human beings to make strong affectional bonds to particular others and of explaining the many forms of emotional distress and personality disturbance, including anxiety, anger, depression and emotional detachment, to which unwilling separation and loss give rise. Though it incorporates much psychoanalytic thinking, many of its principles derive from ethology, cognitive psychology and control theory. It conforms to the ordinary criteria of a scientific discipline. Certain common patterns of personality development, both healthy and pathological, are described in these terms, and also some of the common patterns of parenting that contribute to them.
Article
To understand the relation between parenting and later psychopathology, it is important to clarify the role of genetic and environmental factors in both the elicitation and the provision of parenting behavior. A 16-item version of the Parental Bonding Instrument was administered to 1) 606 fathers and 848 mothers of an epidemiologic sample of adult female-female twin pairs, who reported on their parenting of their twins; 2) the twins (both members of 546 monozygotic and 390 dizygotic pairs), who reported on the parenting they had received from their father and mother; 3) co-twins from these pairs, who reported on the parenting provided by their father and mother to their twin sister; and 4) members of the adult twin pairs (145 monozygotic and 117 dizygotic) who both had children, who reported on the parenting they provided to their offspring. The data were subjected to model fitting decomposing three sources of variance: additive genetic factors; family, or common, environment; and an individual's unique environment. Responses to the Parental Bonding Instrument produced three factors: parental warmth, protectiveness, and authoritarianism. According to parents, these factors were largely a common environmental experience for their children. Responses from twins, however, indicated that genetic factors played a substantial role in the elicitation of warmth from parents and a more modest role in influencing parental protectiveness and authoritarianism. While reports of twins and co-twins on protectiveness and authoritarianism yielded similar results, analysis of responses from co-twins indicated a degree of importance of genetic factors in eliciting parental warmth which was midway between that from parents' reports and twins' reports. Answers from twins as parents indicated that provision of warmth was substantially heritable, while resemblance between twins in providing protectiveness and authoritarianism was due to family environment. The provision of parenting is influenced by attitudes derived from the parent's family of origin as well as by genetically influenced parental temperamental characteristics. The elicitation of parenting is influenced by temperamental traits of the offspring that are, in turn, under partial genetic control. Genetic factors in both parent and child are more important for warmth than for protectiveness or authoritarianism.
Article
The Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) is a widely used measure of parenting, and is usually used to measure two parenting dimensions, care and over-protection. However, there is disagreement in the research literature about whether the PBI is best used as a two-factor or a three-factor measure. PBI scores from 583 US and 236 UK students were factor analysed to assess whether a three-factor solution was more satisfactory than a two-factor solution. A three-factor (care, denial of psychological autonomy and encouragement of behavioural freedom) solution was found to be more satisfactory than a two-factor solution. Using the three-factor solution, group differences that were not apparent with the two-factor solution were identified and it was found that the parenting behaviours associated with depression could be more accurately identified. The authors suggest that with modifications, the PBI could be used to measure three parenting variables (care, denial of psychological autonomy and encouragement of behavioural freedom), which would allow greater accuracy of prediction and a greater understanding of underlying processes.
Article
The purpose of this study was to relate the impostor phenomenon (IP) to the Five-factor model of personality. A sample of 190 college students (79 men, 111 women) completed the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (Clance, 1985), the Perceived Fradulence Scale (Kolligian & Sternberg, 1991), and the NEO-Personality Inventory-Revised (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Results of correlational and regression analyses support the predicted relations of imposter measures with high Neuroticism and low Conscientiousness. Facet-level correlations showed that depression and anxiety were particularly important characteristics of those with imposter feelings as well as low self-discipline and perceived competence. Implications for treatment and future research on the IP are discussed.
Amos 4.0 userÕs guide Applying the big five personality factors to the impostor phenomenon
  • J L Arbuckle
  • W Wothke
Arbuckle, J. L., & Wothke, W. (1999). Amos 4.0 userÕs guide. Chicago: SPSS Inc. Bernard, N. S., Dollinger, S. J., & Ramaniah, N. V. (2002). Applying the big five personality factors to the impostor phenomenon. Journal of Personality Assessment, 78, 321–333.
The Gf/Gc quickie test battery: Unpublished test battery available from the School of Psychology Mining on the ''no manÕs land'' between intelligence and personality
  • L Stankov
Stankov, L. (1997). The Gf/Gc quickie test battery: Unpublished test battery available from the School of Psychology. University of Sydney. Stankov, L. (1999). Mining on the ''no manÕs land'' between intelligence and personality. In P. L. Ackerman, P. C.