Impostor Phenomenon: Its Prevalence Among Academics and the Need for a Diverse and Inclusive Working Environment in British Higher Education

Mioara Cristea, Olugbenga Babajide

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The imposter phenomenon (IP, Clance 1985a) represents an illusion of personal incompetence experienced by high achievers such as academics, despite their legitimate accomplishments (Parkman in Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice 16:51–60, 2016). The present chapter explores the prevalence of IP among academics (N = 168) across different disciplines. An online survey including the Clance IP Scale and other psychological measures was distributed across 57 UK universities, academic forums and networks. We examined the IP variations in relation to gender, age, and academic role and the relations between IP and components of psychological wellbeing, authenticity, and job satisfaction. These findings provide evidence of the prevalence of IP within British Higher Education. While IP is frequently examined from an individualistic perspective, we argue that IP is subjective to experience in social environments and should be analysed from a situational perspective. Finally, we underline the need to foster diverse and inclusive working environment as strategies to diminish IP feelings among UK academics, especially for marginalised individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education
EditorsMichelle Addison, Maddie Breeze, Yvette Taylor
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter4
Pages55-73
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030865702
ISBN (Print)9783030865696
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • impostor phenomenon
  • Academia
  • Gender differences
  • Authenticity
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Job satisfaction

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