Stephen Gadsby
Monash University
Many intelligent, capable, and successful individuals believe that their success is due to luck and fear that they will someday be exposed as imposters. A puzzling feature of this phenomenon, commonly referred to as imposter syndrome, is that these same individuals treat evidence in ways that maintain their false beliefs and debilitating fears: they ignore and misattribute evidence of their own abilities, while readily accepting evidence in favour of their inadequacy. I propose a novel account of imposter syndrome as an instance of self-deception, whereby biased evidence treatment is driven by the motivational benefit of negative self-appraisal. This account illuminates a number of interconnected philosophical and scientific puzzles related to the explanation, definition, and value of imposter syndrome.
Keywords imposter syndrome  imposter phenomenon  self-deception  rationality  motivated belief  belief-based utility
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References found in this work BETA

Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2001 - Princeton University Press.
The Epistemic Innocence of Motivated Delusions.Lisa Bortolotti - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition (33):490-499.
Self-Deception Unmasked.Alfred R. Mele - 2000 - Princeton University Press.
Do the Self-Deceived Get What They Want?Eric Funkhouser - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):295-312.

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