Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Ian M. Katz

Committee Member

Mallory A. McCord

Committee Member

Andrew A. Bennett

Committee Member

Anthony C. (Tony) Perez


Nearly 50 years ago, Clance and Imes (1978) introduced the concept of impostor phenomenon (IP), which they observed among successful women students, academics, professionals, and clients who reported feeling like frauds despite repeatedly demonstrating excellence and high achievement. For decades, a burgeoning body of IP research and scholarship has been accumulating. Additionally, recent testimonies from celebrities experiencing IP and the publication of countless self-help books on IP demonstrate the topic’s resonance with the general public. Despite its popularity, IP is not without criticism. Some question whether IP is distinct from concepts such as self-doubt and job stress. With a database comprising k = 301 independent samples totaling N = 82,438 participants, this dissertation is the first meta-analysis of IP. First, relationships between IP and its conceptual antecedents including demographics and individual differences; correlates including self-esteem, motivation, and mental health and affect; and outcomes including job-related well-being, job performance, and academic performance were examined — amounting to an empirical investigation of the construct’s nomological network. Then, boundary conditions in the form of study and sample characteristics were identified for these relationships. Finally, dominance analysis was incorporated to assess what individual differences explain the most variance in IP as well as IP’s incremental validity over and above other constructs when predicting the aforementioned outcomes. Altogether, although strongly related to several constructs in its nomological network, IP does not appear to exhibit construct redundancy.


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