The link between perfectionism and the impostor syndrome | The Oxford Review

The link between perfectionism and the impostor syndrome

Research Briefing

Keywords: work psychology, impostor syndrome, perfectionism, self-esteem

The impostor syndrome or phenomenon is an experience that tends to occur mainly among high achievers, whereby they feel fraudulent or fake, particularly intellectually. Impostor syndrome is usually accompanied by a sense that they don’t deserve to be in the position that they are in.

Whilst at first sight impostorism doesn’t appear to be much of an issue, it strongly correlates with four negative mental health outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, and pessimism. Impostorism has been found to be strongly linked to introversion, self-esteem problems and, particularly, perfectionism.

A new study has looked at the links between impostorism and perfectionism and found some interesting connections which will be particularly useful for coaches.

Get the full research briefing including all references


About our research briefings


Disclaimer: This is a research review, expert interpretation and briefing. As such it contains other studies, expert comment and practitioner advice. It is not a copy of the original study – which is referenced. The original study should be consulted and referenced in all cases. This research briefing is for informational and educational purposes only. We do not accept any liability for the use to which this review and briefing is put or for it or the research accuracy, reliability or validity. This briefing as an original work in its own right and is copyright © Oxford Review Enterprises Ltd 2016-2019. Any use made of this briefing is entirely at your own risk.