Impostor Syndrome Has Its Advantages

Impostor syndrome, the feeling of being inadequate and a fraud at work, may have its advantages, according to research by Basima A. Tewfik, an assistant professor at MIT Sloan. The research shows that people with impostor syndrome tend to be more adept at relationships and are rated as more interpersonally effective. In two field studies and two experiments, doctors and job candidates who had more frequent impostor thoughts were viewed as having better people skills, but their performance was not affected. Tewfik hopes that her research will help people realize that it's okay to have impostor thoughts sometimes, and that there is a silver lining to the phenomenon.