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Impostor Syndrome

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The Impostor Syndrome, or Impostor Phenomenon, is not an officially recognized psychological disorder, but has been the subject of a number of books and articles by psychologists and educators. Individuals experiencing this syndrome seem unable to internalize their accomplishments. Regardless of what level of success they may have achieved in their chosen field of work or study, or what external proof they may have of their competence, they remain convinced internally that they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are really frauds. Proofs of success are dismissed as luck, timing, or otherwise having deceived others into thinking they were more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be. This syndrome is thought to be particularly common among women, particularly women who are successful in careers typically associated with men, and among academics.

BooksEdit

  • The Impostor Phenomenon Among High Achieving Women by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes (1978) online copy (PDF)
  • The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear That Haunts Your Success by Pauline Clance (1985)
  • If I'm So Successful, Why Do I Feel Like a Fake: The Impostor Phenomenon by Joan C. Harvey and Cynthia Katz (1985 & 1987)

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