Negative performance evaluation in the imposter phenomenon

Stephen Gadsby, Jakob Hohwy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The imposter phenomenon (IP) is associated with a bias towards negative evaluation of one’s own performances. This study employs an online problem-solving task to investigate this bias. Participants (graduate students from the UK, US, and Europe; n = 163) solved reasoning problems and subsequently evaluated their performance. Participants high in IP evaluated their performances more negatively than participants low in IP. This pattern was observed both during the task and after completion. It was also observed in objective assessments (estimates of accuracy) and comparative assessments (estimates of rank amongst participants). Performance evaluation bias was not associated with a bias in the selection of feedback about performance nor was it mediated by depression or self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9300-9308
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023


  • Biased reasoning
  • Imposter phenomenon
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Performance evaluation bias

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