Article quick-view
The Imposter Syndrome. >> Pin 2 of 18

Relations between impostor feelings and upward and downward identification and contrast among 10- to 12-year-old students

ABSTRACT

The first objective of this study was to examine the presence of the impostor phenomenon (IP) among 740 students aged 10 to 12 years old. The second objective was twofold: (1) to examine the link between the impostor feelings and the propensity to use social comparison and (2) to examine whether this feeling is related to the processes of identification with versus contrast to others who are either doing better or worse than oneself. Results showed that, although generally of low intensity, the impostor feelings are indeed present in late elementary school children. A positive link between the impostor feelings and the propensity to use social comparison was also observed. It also appeared that, more than for others, children who feel like impostors were likely to differentiate themselves from their more capable peers while identifying themselves with less capable peers. The discussion focuses on the presence of the IP in late elementary children and on how the upward contrast and the downward identification may contribute to its development and maintenance.