Measuring impostor phenomenon in healthcare simulation educators: a validation of the clance impostor phenomenon scale and leary impostorism scale

Kirsty J. Freeman, Stephen Houghton, Sandra E. Carr, Debra Nestel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Impostor phenomenon is a term used to describe feelings of intellectual and professional fraudulence. The Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale and the Leary Impostorism Scale are two self-report measures used to determine whether an individual experiences impostor phenomenon. This study examined the psychometric properties of both measures in healthcare simulation educators. METHODS: The study sample comprised 148 educators, 114 (77%) females, 34 (23%) males, who completed an online version of each instrument. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine the factor structure of the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale and the Leary Impostorism Scale. RESULTS: Exploratory factor analysis revealed that for both instruments a one-factor solution best fit the data, suggesting all items in both measures fit onto a single theoretical construct. Both instruments demonstrated high internal reliability, with the Cronbach's alpha for the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale being α = .96 and the Leary Impostorism Scale α = .95. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that impostor phenomenon as measured by the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale and the Leary Impostorism Scale is a unidimensional construct among healthcare simulation educators. With a growing interest in impostor phenomenon, the present findings will assist researchers to evaluate the phenomenon in healthcare settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale
  • Exploratory Factors Analysis
  • Healthcare Simulation Educators
  • Impostor Phenomenon
  • Leary Impostor Scale

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