Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Pauline Rose Clance
The Impostor Phenomenon (IP) refers to the pervasive feeling of phoniness experienced by many high achieving individuals and the anxiety they feel as they encounter new challenges. This study investigates gender differences in the personalities of male and female Impostors using an instrument previously shown to be relevant to the IP, the Personality Research Form (PRF). The PRF, Clance's IP Scale, and the Otis-Lennon Mental Abilities Test were administered to 63 subjects. The findings indicate that the IP in males is associated with high needs for Change, Defendance, Endurance, and Impulsivity and low need for Order. Among females the IP seems to be associated with high needs for Defendance and low needs for Affiliation, Change, Exhibition, Impulsivity, Nurturance, and Play. Contrary to its conceptualization as a phenomenon found among high achievers, the IP was also shown not to correlate with Impulsivity, Nurturance, and Play. Contrary to its conceptualization as a phenomenon found among high achievers, the IP was also shown not to correlate with grade point average. No differences were found on any variable between high-achieving and low-achieving PRF Impostors. Implications of this study and suggestions for further research are offered.
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Beard, James, "Personality Correlates of the Impostor Phenomenon: An Exploration of Gender Differences in Critical Needs." Thesis, Georgia State University, 1990.
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