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Impostor fears and perfectionistic concern over mistakes


Thompson, T and Foreman, P and Martin, F, Impostor fears and perfectionistic concern over mistakes, Personality and Individual Differences, 29, (4) pp. 629-647. ISSN 0191-8869 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00218-4


Impostors are outwardly successful individuals who experience secret intense feelings of fraudulence in achievement situations. Elements of perfectionism are evident in a tendency on the part of impostors to maintain high standards for personal evaluation while being critical of their inability to realise these standards. This study utilised a 2 (impostor status: high, low) × 2 (task type: high vs. low frequency of mistakes) between-subjects factorial design to investigate the connection between impostor fears and perfectionistic concern over mistakes. Sixty undergraduate students completed either a high or low frequency of mistake Stroop Colour-Word task, following which they completed items assessing perceptions of their performance, concern over mistakes, perceptions of control and anxiety, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale and the Russell Causal Dimension Scale. Links with perfectionistic concern over mistakes and anxiety were strongly supported, with impostors reporting less control, greater anxiety, more negative affect and greater concern over mistakes than non-impostors irrespective of experimental condition. The roles of anxiety and perfectionist cognitions in the maintenance of impostor fears are discussed. © 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Personality and individual differences
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Thompson, T (Dr Ted Thompson)
UTAS Author:Foreman, P (Dr Peggy Foreman)
UTAS Author:Martin, F (Associate Professor Frances Martin)
ID Code:19831
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:61
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2001-05-07

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