Impostor syndrome: When self-doubt gets the upper hand
The Impostor Phenomenon (IP) is characterized by an external-instable-specific attributional style (i.e., Impostors perceive successful performance as due to chance). To our knowledge no study has yet tested this notion in real-life situations. The study included 76 participants who complete computer-based numerical and verbal intelligence tasks, gave them positive feedback, irrespective of their actual performance, and assessed their attributions of the positive performance feedback. While the self-reported IP was unrelated to psychometrically measured intelligence (rs 0.07), those high in IP discounted their performance and attributed the cause for their performance as external-instable-specific (r = 0.40). The findings hold when controlling for age, gender, and actual performance.