Never good enough: the relation between the impostor phenomenon and multidimensional perfectionism

  • The Impostor Phenomenon can be described as the tendency to attribute professional success not to one’s own abilities but to excessive effort or fortunate external circumstances. Individuals strongly experiencing those tendencies fear that one day they will be exposed as “impostors” as soon as their alleged incompetence can no longer be concealed. Typical characteristics of the Impostor Phenomenon outlined by Clance (1985) show a remarkable conceptual similarity to the personality construct of perfectionism. Thus, the present study aimed at investigating how the Impostor Phenomenon is related to various facets of dispositional perfectionism with respect to predominant conceptualizations of perfectionism by Frost et al. (1990), Hewitt and Flett (1991), as well as their combination within the bifactor model of Perfectionistic Strivings and Perfectionistic Concerns (Frost et al. 1993). A total of N = 274 individuals participated in an online survey including the Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS; Clance 1988), the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS; Frost et al. 1990), and the Hewitt und Flett Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS short form; Hewitt et al. 2008). Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine the differential contributions of perfectionism dimensions and factors in predicting the Impostor Phenomenon. The perfectionism dimensions Doubts about Actions, Concern over Mistakes and Socially prescribed Perfectionism appeared to be efficient predictors of the Impostor Phenomenon. Contrary to Perfectionistic Strivings, Perfectionistic Concerns as a maladaptive perfectionism factor strongly contributed to the prediction of the Impostor Phenomenon. Theoretical and practical implications of the associations between the Impostor Phenomenon and multidimensional perfectionism are discussed.
Author:Sophie Pannhausen, Kristina Klug, Sonja RohrmannGND
Parent Title (English):Current psychology
Place of publication:New York, NY
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/01/20
Date of first Publication:2020/01/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/06/07
Tag:Impostor phenomenon; Perfectionism; Perfectionistic concerns; Perfectionistic strivings
Page Number:14
First Page:888
Last Page:901
Open Access funding provided by Projekt DEAL.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0