ERIC Number: ED212966
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Impostor Phenomenon and Achievement: Issues of Sex, Race, and Self-Perceived Atypicality.
Harvey, Joan C.
Research has suggested that race and sex are strongly associated with the "imposter phenomenon" (I-P), a secret, intense, subjective self-perception of phoniness experienced by many high achievers. Sex, race, and perceived atypicality were examined in relation to the imposter phenomenon for 30 persons with adequate achievement in career areas represented by blacks and whites, and men and women. Subjects responded to demographic questions, the I-P Scale, and questions designed to elicit phenomenological self-perceptions of atypicality. Results revealed no significant differences for either sex or race, and no significant interaction between the two. When subjects classified as high or low in I-P were compared for indications of self-perceived atypicality, high I-P subjects reported that they perceived their careers as significantly less typical for their sex than did low I-P subjects. High I-P subjects also reported attainment of an unusually high level of education in relation to their families, while low I-P subjects indicated a level of educational attainment significantly more consistent with that of their families. The results suggest that previous research associating race and sex differences with the imposter phenomenon may have been confounded with issues of self-perceived atypicality. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Temple Univ., Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers: Atypicality; Imposter Phenomenon
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981). Best copy available.