Relationship Between Impostor Phenomenon And Personality Traits: A Study On Undergraduate Students

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Dr. Tarundeep Kaur1, Nidhi Jain2


The term Impostor phenomenon coined by Clance and Imes is a psychological phenomenon where people experiencing impostor constantly doubt their own accomplishments, fail to internalize their success and achievements, and have a constant self-doubt and fear of being exposed as a fraud. Impostor can be defined as someone who feel they do not deserve the status or such high position as they are not much competent and live with the persistent fear of being found as fake. This concept is gaining much recognition and increasingly presented in literature and media. The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between Impostor Phenomenon and personality traits and gender difference among undergraduate students. A sample of 40 students pursuing under graduation from Panjab University aged between 18 to 21 years were taken. Participants completed Clance IP scale developed by Dr. Pauline Clance (r = 0.92) which measures impostor phenomenon and Big Five Inventory developed by Goldberg that measures an individual on the Big Five Factors (dimensions) of personality. Pearson's correlation coefficient was computed to analyse the results with the help of IBM SPSS.  From the result of the study, it was found that there was a positive significant relationship between Impostor Phenomenon and neuroticism (0.344). Other personality traits openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness (0.091, -0.092, -0.029 and 0.086 respectively) did not have a significant relationship with Impostor Phenomenon. The study also revealed that there was no gender difference found among undergraduate students. The result is discussed in detail.

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