Acknowledging Impostor Phenomenon: How Does It Affect and Individual's Likability?

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Rice University

The impostor phenomenon (IP) is the feeling of being an intellectual fraud regardless of any external evidence of incompetency. Research on the effects of IP on mental health is important in understanding how to nurture positive experiences through the duration of undergraduate life. However, the social interactions of individuals who experience IP are not well understood. We surveyed Rice undergraduates to understand how the disclosure of feelings of impostor might affect how an participant might perceive the individual.We analyzed how a hypothetical individual’s disclosure (N=148) or non-disclosure (N=144) of feelings of IP and participant’s own feelings of IP affect how participants rate the individual in likeability. Results indicated no strong effect of participant’s own IP on the likeability rating of the hypothetical individual. However, additional findings suggest that many Rice students experience some level of IP. These findings suggest that IP is an issue that deserves attention on how it affects the undergraduate life and research on methods for reducing the level of IP that students experience

This paper was originally prepared for Course PSYC 340, Fall 2018: Research Methods of Psychology, given by Professor Sandra Parsons, Department of Psychology. Co-authors of the original paper include: Mirandal Cole, Arjun Peddireddy, and Jerry Wu. Jennifer Lee is the winner of the Friends of Fondren Library Research Award.

Lee, Jennifer. "Acknowledging Impostor Phenomenon: How Does It Affect and Individual's Likability?." (2019) Rice University:

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