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The science behind feeling like an imposter.
The term “imposter phenomenon” (IP) was coined in the late ’70s after being identified in therapeutic sessions with high-achieving women. Nowadays, we know this condition is not restricted to women and that 70% of high-achievers have suffered from IP at some time in their life. It is more common among minorities- whether this be gender, race or sexual orientation and can be triggered when someone is faced with new challenges, for example students starting their Ph.D. studies, graduate PhDs starting on a new position or scientists faced with a new project. Did you ever felt the need to be the best there is, the need to do everything flawlessly, fear of failure, feelings of shame and humiliation when failure is real of perceived, guilt of being different, worry about being rejected, feelings of phoniness and fraudulence, concerns about self-worth and social image, persistent self-monitoring, intellectual self-doubt, feelings of weakness or feelings of inauthenticity. If you did felt a combination of these cognitive and affective components, follow this pinboard to find out the most recent discoveries on this subject and the tried-and-tested IP coping strategies.
Abstract: The impostor phenomenon (IP) is increasingly recognized as an important psychological construct for career development, yet empirical research on how it functions in this domain is sparse. We investigated in what way impostor feelings are related to the fear of failure, fear of success, self-esteem, and the career-development aspects career planning, career striving, and the motivation to lead. We conducted two studies with independent samples of university students (N = 212) in a laboratory study and working professionals (N = 110) in an online study. In both samples, impostor feelings were fostered by fear of failure, fear of success, and low self-esteem and they decreased career planning, career striving, and the motivation to lead. A path analysis showed that impostor feelings had the most negative effects on career planning and career striving in students and on the motivation to lead in working professionals. The results suggest that the IP is relevant to career development in different ways at different career stages. Practical implications and interventions to reduce the negative effects of impostor feelings on career development are discussed.
Pub.: 13 Feb '16, Pinned: 24 May '17
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.
Pub.: 13 Jan '10, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: Many of the discrepancies reported to date in empirical investigations of the impostor phenomenon (IP) may be due in part to (a) the use of different methods for identifying individuals suffering from this syndrome (impostors), (b) the common use of a median split procedure to classify subjects and (c) the fact that subjects in many studies were drawn from impostor-prone samples. In this study, we compared the scores of independently identified impostors and nonimpostors on two instruments designed to measure the IP: Harvey's I-P Scale and Clance's IP Scale. The results suggest that Clance's scale may be the more sensitive and reliable instrument. Cutoff score suggestions for both instruments are offered.
Pub.: 01 Feb '93, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: Following up on earlier investigations, the present research aims at validating the construct impostor phenomenon by taking other personality correlates into account and to examine whether the impostor phenomenon is a construct in its own right. In addition, gender effects as well as associations with dispositional working styles and strain are examined. In an online study we surveyed a sample of N = 242 individuals occupying leadership positions in different sectors. Confirmatory factor analyses provide empirical evidence for the discriminant validity of the impostor phenomenon. In accord with earlier studies we show that the impostor phenomenon is accompanied by higher levels of anxiety, dysphoric moods, emotional instability, a generally negative self-evaluation, and perfectionism. The study does not reveal any gender differences concerning the impostor phenomenon. With respect to working styles, persons with an impostor self-concept tend to show perfectionist as well as procrastinating behaviors. Moreover, they report being more stressed and strained by their work. In sum, the findings show that the impostor phenomenon constitutes a dysfunctional personality style. Practical implications are discussed.
Pub.: 18 Jun '16, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: The impostor phenomenon describes the self-attribution of success to luck and interpersonal skills rather than to intelligence and ability, despite external validation to the contrary. Evidence suggests the presence of impostor characteristics among a group of 63 undergraduate entrepreneurs. More intense impostor feelings were associated with an external locus of control and a stronger perceived effect of work on family life. Implications for entrepreneurial performance are discussed and questions for research are presented.
Pub.: 18 Aug '01, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: 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.
Pub.: 18 Jun '02, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: This investigation consists of two studies designed to examine perceived fraudulence, its measurement, and the personality traits associated with the experience in young adults. For Study 1, the Perceived Fraudulence Scale (PFS), a new measure constructed for this study, was administered to a sample of 50 college undergraduates, along with several other self-report measures; a semistructured interview and thought-listing exercise were added to provide convergent assessments of perceived fraudulence. Correlational patterns and regression analyses supported the investigators' conceptualization of perceived fraudulence as involving a combination of fraudulent ideation, depressive tendencies, self-criticism, social anxiety, achievement pressures, and self-monitoring skills. Study 2, in which 100 college undergraduates completed several personality questionnaires, replicated the factor structure of the PFS and provided some evidence for the discriminant validity of the construct of perceived fraudulence.
Pub.: 01 Apr '91, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: Authors: Amanda Chapman Article URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0309877X.2015.1062851?ai=z4&mi=3fqos0&af=R Citation: Journal of Further and Higher Education Publication Date: 2015-07-30T11:03:32Z Journal: Journal of Further and Higher Education
Pub.: 30 Jul '15, Pinned: 24 May '17
Abstract: The focus of this multiphase research was to generate and test the psychometric parameters of the Coach Identity Prominence Scale (CIPS). First, a pilot study was conducted with context (n = 10) and construct (n = 6) specialists, who evaluated the technical quality and content validity of 20 items developed from semistructured interviews. Thirteen items were selected for Study 1, which tested the factorial validity and reliability scores of coaches' (n = 343) responses to the CIPS items. An eight-item structure, consisting of two factors (centrality and evaluative emotions) was selected as the final CIPS measure, which was examined with a final sample of coaches (n = 454) in Study 2 to evaluate the factorial validity, group invariance, concurrent validity, and nomological validity of respondents' scores to the CIPS. Initial evidence for the various types of validity and reliability tested across the studies was provided.
Pub.: 12 Jun '14, Pinned: 23 May '17
Abstract: 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.
Pub.: 01 Dec '95, Pinned: 23 May '17
Abstract: Authors: Kirstie McAllum Article URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03634523.2016.1177848?ai=z4&mi=3fqos0&af=R Citation: Communication Education Publication Date: 2016-05-31T01:03:43Z Journal: Communication Education
Pub.: 31 May '16, Pinned: 23 May '17
Abstract: Authors: Holly M. Hutchins ; Hilary Rainbolt Article URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13678868.2016.1248205?ai=z4&mi=3fqos0&af=R Citation: Human Resource Development International Publication Date: 2016-11-02T09:01:43Z Journal: Human Resource Development International
Pub.: 02 Nov '16, Pinned: 23 May '17
Abstract: The Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS; Clance, 1985) was compared to the newly developed Perceived Fraudulence Scale (Kolligian & Sternberg, 1991). The two scales were found to have high internal consistency and to correlate in a similar manner with other measures. Further, discriminant validity evidence for the Impostor Phenomenon (IP) was provided by comparing the CIPS to measures of depression, self-esteem, social anxiety, and self-monitoring. The IP was related to, but substantially discriminable from, these constructs. Finally, construct validity evidence for the CIPS was provided through principal components analysis that yielded three stable factors: Fake, Discount, and Luck.
Pub.: 01 Dec '95, Pinned: 23 May '17
Abstract: The impostor phenomenon (IP), or feelings of intellectual incompetence, reflects a maladaptive set of cognitions, which pose a significant psychological risk for African American emerging adults. In light of recent evidence suggesting that personal and sociocultural factors may influence the association between IP and psychological adjustment, this study used 2 waves of data to examine the extent to which gender and racial discrimination moderated the association between IP and indices of mental health among 157 African American college students (69% women; mean age = 18.30) attending a predominantly White institution. Analyses revealed that young African American women reporting higher frequencies of racial discrimination and women reporting lower levels of distress resulting from racial discrimination were most vulnerable to negative mental health outcomes, particularly at higher levels of IP. These findings suggest that IP may interact with gender and racial discrimination experiences to influence mental health outcomes. We discuss how these findings can be utilized to inform treatment of African American emerging adults experiencing IP and the importance of considering how gender and discrimination may intersect to exacerbate feelings of intellectual incompetence. (PsycINFO Database Record
Pub.: 10 Feb '17, Pinned: 23 May '17
Abstract: This study examined the association between racial discrimination and the impostor phenomenon (IP) and the moderating influence of racial identity on this relationship.One hundred fifty-seven African American college students (68% female; mean age = 18.63) completed measures of racial discrimination, racial identity, and IP during 2 waves of data collection.Utilizing latent profile analyses, 4 patterns of racial identity were identified: Undifferentiated, Multiculturalist, Race-Focused, and Humanist. Racial discrimination predicted higher subsequent levels of IP. Racial identity did not moderate the impact of racial discrimination; however, students in the Multiculturalist and Humanist groups reported the lowest and highest levels of IP at Wave 2, respectively.IP is influenced by racial discrimination experiences as well as by the significance and meaning that individuals ascribe to being African American. (PsycINFO Database Record
Pub.: 18 Apr '17, Pinned: 23 May '17
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