The New Yorker: Why Everyone Feels Like They’re Faking It

A piece in the New Yorker that explores the history of imposter syndrome may interest AHP readers: “Why Everyone Feels Like They’re Faking It,” by Leslie Jamison. As Jamison writes:

At first, the paper kept getting rejected. “Weirdly, we didn’t get impostor feelings about that,” Clance told me, when I visited her at her home, in Atlanta. “We believed in what we were trying to say.” It was eventually published in 1978, in the journal Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice. The paper spread like an underground zine. People kept writing to Clance to ask for copies, and she sent out so many that the person working the copy machine in her department asked, “What are you doing with all these?” For decades, Clance and Imes saw their concept steadily gaining traction—in 1985, Clance published a book, “The Impostor Phenomenon,” and also released an official “I.P. scale” for researchers to license for use in their own studies—but it wasn’t until the rise of social media that the idea, by now rebranded as “impostor syndrome,” truly exploded.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.