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Last week a group of us were sitting over lunch when a female colleague asked if we had heard of the “impostor syndrome.” I hadn’t, so she explained it. Here’s the essence, drawn from Wikipedia (with their links remaining). What do you know about this? Have you seen this? Do you feel this? Any thoughts or suggestions? Would you expand this to ethnic minorities? others?

The Impostor Syndrome … is a syndrome where sufferers are unable to internalize their accomplishments. It is not an officially recognized psychological disorder but has been the subject of numerous books and articles by psychologists and educators.

Regardless of what level of success they may have achieved in their
chosen field of work or study or what external proof they may have of
their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced internally
they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are actually
frauds. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result
of deceiving others into thinking they were more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

This syndrome is thought to be particularly common among women who are successful in their given careers and is typically associated with academics. It is also widely found among graduate students.

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