The Research

Research links

The first paper to use the term imposter phenomenon was published by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978.

Clance, P. R. and Imes, S. A (1978). The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, Vol 15(3), 241-247.


Since then there have been many papers published on aspects of the imposter phenomenon and imposter syndrome. The following list will be regularly updated.

Bernard, N. S., Dollinger, S. J., and Ramaniah, N. V. (2002). Applying the Big Five personality factors to the impostor phenomenon. Journal of Personality Assessment, Vol 78 (2), 321–333.

Caselman, T. D., Self, P. A., and Self, A. L. (2006). Adolescent attributes contributing to the imposter phenomenon. Journal of Adolescence, Vol 29, 395-405.

Chapman, A. (2015). Using the assessment process to overcome Imposter Syndrome in mature students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2015.1062851

Clance, P. R. (1985). The imposter phenomenon: When success makes you feel like a fake. Toronto: Bantam Books.

Clance, P. R., Dingman, D., Reviere, S. L., and Stober, D. L. (1995). Impostor phenomenon in an interpersonal/social context: Origins and treatment. Women and Therapy, Vol 16 (4), 79-96.

Cozzarelli,C.and Major, B.(2005). Exploring the validity of the imposter phenomenon. Journal of Social and clinical psychology, Vol 9, 401-417.

Ferrari, J.R. (2005). Impostor tendencies and academic dishonesty: Do they cheat their way to success? Social behavior and personality, Vol 33, Issue 1, 11-18.

Ferrari, J. R. and Thompson, T. (2006). Imposter fears: Links with self-presentational concerns and self-handicapping behaviours. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 40. 341-352.

French, B. F., Ullrich-French, S.C. and Follman, D. (2008). The psychometric properties of the Clance Impostor Scale. Personality and Individual Differences. Vol 44. 1270-1278.

Ghorbanshirodi, S. (2012). The relationship between self-esteem and emotional intelligence with impostor syndrome among medical students of Guilan and Heratsi (Iranian) Universities. Journal of Basic Applied Scientific Research, Vol 2(2). 1793-1802.

Hoang, Q. (2015). The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming Internalized Barriers and Recognizing Achievements. The Vermont Connection: Vol. 34, Article 6

Jaruwan Sakulku, J., and Alexander, J. (2011). The Impostor Phenomenon. International Journal of Behavioral Science, 6(1), 73-92.

Jöstl, Gregor, Bergsmann, Evelyn, Lüftenegger, Marko, Schober, Barbara, Spiel (2012). When will they blow my cover? The Impostor Phenomenon among Austrian doctoral students. Journal of Psychology, Vol 220(2), 109-120.

Kamarzarrin, H., Khaledian, M., Shooshtari, M., Yousefi, E., & Ahrami, R. (2013). A study of the relationship between self-esteem and the imposter phenomenon in the physicians of Rasht city (Iran), European Journal of Experimental Biology, 3(2), 363-366.

Knights, D. and Clarke, C.A. (2014). It’s a Bittersweet Symphony, this Life: Fragile Academic Selves and Insecure Identities at Work. Organization Studies, Vol. 35(3) 335–357.

Kumar, S. and Jagacinski, C. M. (2006). Imposters have goals too: The imposter phenomenon and its relationship to achievement goal theory. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 40, 147-157.

Legassie, J., Zibrowski, E.M. and Goldszmidt, M.A. (2008). Measuring resident well-being: impostorism and burnout syndrome in residency. Journal of General Internal Medicine. Vol 23(7), 1090-1094.

Mattie, C., Gietzen, J., Davis, S. and Prata, J. (2008). The imposter phenomenon: self assessment and competency to perform as a physician assistant in the United States. The Journal of Physician Assistant Education. Vol 19 (1), 5-12.

McGregor, L.N., Gee, D. E., and Posey, K. E. (2008). I feel like a fraud and it depresses me: The relation between the imposter phenomenon and depression. Social Behavior and Personality, Vol 36(1), 43-48.

Oriel, K., Plane, M. B., and Mundt, M. (2004). Family medicine residents and the impostor phenomenon. Family Medicine, Vol 36(4), 248-252.

Prata, J. and Gietzen, J. (2007). The imposter phenomenon in physician assistant graduates. The Journal of Physician Assistant Education, Vol 18 (4), 33-36.

Ross, S. R. and Krukowski, R. A. (2003). The imposter phenomenon and maladaptive personality: type and trait characteristics. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 34, 477-484.

Ross, S.R., Stewart, J., Mugge, M. and Fultz, B. (2001). The imposter phenomenon, achievement dispositions, and the five factor model. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 31, 1347-1355.

Sakulku, J. and Alexander, J. (2011). The impostor phenomenon. International Journal of Behavioral Science, Vol 6(1), 73-92.

September, A. N., McCarrrey, M., Barnowsky, A., Parent, C., and Schindler, D. (2001). The relation between well-being, impostor feelings and gender role orientation among Canadian university students. The Journal of Social Psychology, Vol 141(2), 218-232.

Sonnak, C. and Towell, T. (2001). The impostor phenomenon in British university students: Relationship between self-esteem, mental health, parental rearing style and socioeconomic status. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 31, 863-874.

Spinath, B. (2011). Great pretenders. Scientific American Mind, March/April, 32-37.

Thompson, T., Foreman, P. and Martin, F. (2000). Impostor fears and perfectionistic concern over mistakes. Personality and Individual Differences, Vol 29, Issue 4, 629–647.

Vergauwe, J., Wille, B., Feys, M., De Fruyt, F. and Anseel, F. (2014). Fear of Being Exposed: The Trait-Relatedness of the Impostor Phenomenon and its Relevance in the Work Context. Journal of Business and Psychology. DOI: 10.1007/s10869-014-9382-5