The Impostor Phenomenon

Jaruwan Sakulku, James Alexander


The Impostor Phenomenon was identified from clinical observations duringtherapeutic sessions with high achieving women by Dr Pauline Clance.Despite objective evidence of success, these women had a pervasivepsychological experience believing that they were intellectual frauds andfeared being recognised as impostors. They suffered from anxiety, fear offailure and dissatisfaction with life. This article reviews definitions andcharacteristics of trait Impostorism, some antecedents, such as personalityand family achievement environment and psychological distress as aconsequence of Impostorism.Keywords: Impostorism; Impostor Phenomenon; impostor fears,perfectionism; family environment; family achievement values;psychological distress


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