Study confirms the commonality of imposter syndrome

A new study reveals imposter syndrome is common among both classroom and workplace. People witness the imposter syndrome when they feel like frauds even if they are well-qualified and capable.

The latest research developed by professors of Brigham Young University show that 20% of the college students undergo strong symptoms of impostorism.

For the study, the team carried out interviews with students as part of an elite academic program in order to comprehend various coping mechanisms used by students to overcome feelings of impostorism. Results however highlighted one method which was more prominent than the rest, i.e. seeking support from outside the academic program.

The study concluded if students sought support within their major, they felt worse than better. On the other hand, if they sought help from friends and family or even from the professors, the effects of impostorism were minimized.

The study also brought to light the negative effects with which students overcome impostorism. Among these, skipping schoolwork by playing video games or even pretending to be confident and excited about their performance around classmates, while actually they doubted themselves was very common.

A second study with 213 students also proved that individuals who sought support outside the major was more effective than individuals who sought help within the major.

Furthermore, individuals showing signs of impostorism lacked performance. In other words, they excelled in their jobs, but were unable to believe in themselves.

“It’s important to create cultures where people talk about failure and mistakes,” explained Brigham Young University professors Jeff Bednar. “When we create those cultures, someone who is feeling strong feelings of impostorism will be more likely to get the help they need within the organization.”