Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy and Leadership


In recent years a number of psychotherapists have called attention to a concern presented to them by some of their clients. Despite numerous achievements, these individuals believe their abilities have been overestimated and eventually they will be discovered as impostors. This internal experience of intellectual phoniness has been termed the impostor phenomenon. A number of preliminary studies have been completed to further define the impostor phenomenon and the characteristics of those individuals likely to suffer from it. The purpose of this study was to further clarify components of the impostor phenomenon. This study sought to evaluate whether a relationship exists between college major and the presence of impostor feelings. An additional objective was to investigate whether there is a link between attributional style and the impostor phenomenon.



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