This Study Confirmed That Imposter Syndrome Is Real And Can Be Detrimental To Mental Health

morozov_photo - - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

Have you heard of “imposter syndrome?” The phenomenon in which people underestimate their talents, skills, or abilities in places like school or work has become a popular talking point in recent years.

Perhaps you have felt nervous that your boss will “realize” you are not cut out for the job. Or, maybe you are personally questioning your ability to succeed in your chosen college major.

No matter the circumstance, though, a recent study conducted by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has found that these feelings of being an “imposter” are undoubtedly real and widespread.

In fact, the study’s psychologists found that the phenomenon can take hold no matter a person’s gender, age, or intelligence level.

This is a groundbreaking discovery since, until now, “imposter syndrome” has only been evaluated on a case-by-case basis or through surveys.

The study included seventy-six participants who took part in real-life simulations. Each person completed a series of intelligence tests and, regardless of their actual performance, received positive feedback. Afterward, each person was questioned as to why they believed they performed so greatly.

The results were comprised of two key findings. First, a person’s degree of imposter syndrome is not related to true intelligence measurement or performance.

Second, people with imposter syndrome are more likely to attribute any success or positive feedback to external causes– such as chance or luck– instead of their own abilities.

Kay Brauer, a psychologist at MLU, explained how a certain level of self-doubt is not always a bad thing.

morozov_photo – – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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