The Impostor

Some years ago, one of the most interesting concepts advanced was that of the impostor [or imposter] phenomenon—which, briefly, refers to the psychological syndrome in which one feels like a failure and a fake in spite of outward appearances of success. The titles of two of the books at that time further explain this belief: Cynthia Katz, If I’m so Successful, Why Do I feel Like a Fake? (St. Martins, 1985) and Pauline Rose Clance, The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear that Haunts Your Success (Peachtree, 1985). Now, however, according to some research (reported in the Science Times, NYTimes, 2/5/08): “many self-styled impostors are phony phonies; they adopt self-deprecation as a social strategy [as a type of impression or identity management], consciously or not, and are secretly more confident than they let on.” The original article is: Kumar, S., & Jagacinski, C. M. (2006). Imposters have goals too. Personality and Individual Differences 40, 147-157.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Graden has a book on the impostor syndrome. www.JohnGraden.com