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The Fraud Who Isn't

Psychology Today

While personality and intelligence may be the seeds of impostorism, it needs a certain type of environment in which to sprout (or, shall we say, fester). Marilyn Puder-York, a clinical psychologist and executive coach, frequently treats high-achieving clients with aspects of IP and sees a common element in their background: parents who placed outsize emphasis on their academic credentials. “They were afraid of not being good enough, of being abandoned in some way by a family who wanted a successful child,” she says. “Their ambition was driven by a desire to avoid shame.”

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