Effect Measure

The imposters among us

We’re still on the road, but if all goes well we’ll be pulling up to the old homestead later today. So this will be among the last of the links to previous posts and we’ll be back in harness shortly, again masquerading as whoever we are masquerading as. You decide. But a propos of that thought, a little more than three years ago I wrote the post linked below, more as an idle reflection on a part of academic life that isn’t discussed very often than anything else. It surprised me that since then rarely a week passes that I don’t see on my referral log that someone has looked at it, usually via a wikipedia entry where it was referenced. Apparently the number of people who suffer from this syndrome to some degree is substantial. Maybe you are one:

The Imposter

Comments

  1. #1 Jason Dick
    August 30, 2009

    Hmmm, interesting. I definitely have gotten the feeling a number of times that certain people have, at times, a much higher opinion of me and my abilities than is warranted.

    Granted, I don’t think I’d ever publish less because of this feeling, but that’s probably because I think one of my failings is that I don’t publish near enough! Speaking of which, I need to get back to work on this paper…

  2. #2 mrcreosote
    August 30, 2009

    FWIW – it isn’t restricted to academia.

    “Hmmm, interesting. I definitely have gotten the feeling a number of times that certain people have, at times, a much higher opinion of me and my abilities than is warranted.”

    ditto.

  3. #3 Eamon
    August 31, 2009

    Possibly related to bullying and belittling in youth.

  4. #4 BW
    August 31, 2009

    About 15 years ago, I visited the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream plant in Vermont. It was a nice summer day with lots of people waiting to get in. A man drove in, parked his (fancy) car in the middle of a drive (prominent DO NOT PARK sign) and led his wife and 2 children to the line. He proceeded to bull his way to the front of the line, daring anyone to stop him and using his elbows and loud voice to reinforce his presence.

    The impression he left was the obvious “I am FAR better than you and therefore am allowed trample all over you and the rest of the world.” For “us” his behavior probably reinforced out “Imposter” feelings, but for him, the way we “weakly” all allowed him to act out his offensive fantasy probably reinforced his feeling that HE was no imposter!

  5. #5 BW
    August 31, 2009

    Oops, that’s OUR imposter feelings….

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