Fraud may be a crime, but faking isn’t against the law.
A recent study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that pretending you know your stuff is the way charismatic individuals, world leaders, Alpha males/females, and your boss appear to be competent to the rest of the world. it seems those more likely to speak up are more likely to be considered intelligent, dependable and trustworthy. In other words, your doctor might not really know what that thing is growing on the left side of your cheek, but he/she pretends to, and you’ll probably believe the diagnosis. Granted, the doctor has some training to fall back on, but for us common folk, this means if you talk the talk, even if you’ve never walked the walked, no one will care. All that matters is that you appear to be capable of taking those giant steps, that you look like you’re doing it and making appropriate noises.
This news (not news at all to Shrinky and his shrink pals) is rich chocolately comfort for me because I’m have an attack of impostor syndrome. Maybe you devotees of Oldbitey will remember OB felt like a big fat fraud when she was writing her thesis. Who was she kidding? Who did she think she was fooling? She’s no academic.
I got passed all that, but now my fraudlent, crappy little masters study will be presented at the inaugural IASPR conference (iaspr.org/conferences/brisbane/ ) next month (in 2 1/2 more weeks) and that feelings of fakerdom have risen up to stick in my craw once again. Yet according to the article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology it’s not a bad thing that I feel like an academic faker. In fact, if I want to be successful at this conference, with all these PhD’s, I merely have to go on faking it. Odds are, they’re probabaly faking it too–even the men.