A new survey also found that women executives believe imposter syndrome to be common among women in corporate America.
Am I the great pretender?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ3NzQzOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NzA2Nn0._YO27j8GmJnSeop1mPFxx_sOKg3DorgFFpcfHNYVV98/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C312%2C0%2C312&height=700" id="5201d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3474c9bcafb8198254dd798882b99551" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="diverse group meeting" />
Fake it till you make it (to the moon)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d991955b6be7f4d226a2e1572edec4f9"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IrTrBNmMXG0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Because the original study focused on highly successful women, there's been a misconception that only women suffer from imposter syndrome and the best remedy is for them to "just get over it." Neither is true.</p><p>Regarding the gender gap, there's been much back and forth in the research. <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/men-suffer-from-impostor-syndrome-2016-1" target="_blank">Men certainly suffer</a> from imposter syndrome, and some studies have suggested men <a href="https://qz.com/1296783/it-turns-out-men-not-women-suffer-more-from-imposter-syndrome/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be more inclined toward it</a>—at least under specific conditions. But due to social expectations and cultural norms, they may not be as open about it. Other studies have found women, especially women of color and those from the LGBTQ community, to be <a href="https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200724-why-imposter-syndrome-hits-women-and-women-of-colour-harder" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">hit harder by imposter syndrome</a>.</p><p>Thankfully, for both men and women, there are ways to diminish these fraudulent feelings of phoniness. <a href="https://time.com/5312483/how-to-deal-with-impostor-syndrome/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Speaking with Time</a>, imposter syndrome expert Valerie Young recommended reframing your thoughts. We can learn to be mindful of the disruptive thought, relabeling it as a feeling and not a reality. We can learn to appreciate constructive criticism, develop growth mindsets, and push ourselves to ask questions rather than holding back out of fear. And as KPMG's study showed, having a supportive person to speak honestly with can do wonders.</p><p>"The goal is not to never feel like an impostor. The goal for me is to give [people] the tools and the insight and information to talk themselves down faster," Young told Time. "They can still have an impostor moment, but not an impostor life."</p><p>Short of pathological narcissism, I imagine we all have our imposter moments. I think <a href="https://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/160603396711/hi-i-read-that-youve-dealt-with-with-impostor" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">author Neil Gaiman</a> illustrates this best in an anecdote. One night, Gaiman was chatting up a fellow Neil at a very important event filled with very important people who had done very important things. Like Gaiman, the elderly Neil felt he didn't belong in such a prestigious company. That Neil was, of course, Neil Armstrong.</p><p>As Gaiman put it so well: "And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren't any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for."</p>
The problem is that what's true of magnets is not at all true of romance.
If the idea of freedom bound Camus and Sartre philosophically, then the fight for justice united them politically.
Working memory is the workhorse of cognition. Having less of it has side effects.
- A new study finds that people with lower working memory capacity were less likely to practice social distancing.
- The study also found working memory was related to how fairly a subject behaved in an ultimatum game.
- The findings help explain why some people don't social distance and offer new ways to encourage proper distancing.
Working Memory or Hardly Working Memory?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="DFsIl6ht" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="ab1df5c2b15ea0a546e5f21edacdadad"> <div id="botr_DFsIl6ht_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/DFsIl6ht-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/DFsIl6ht-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/DFsIl6ht-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Working memory is that part of our memory concerned with limited amounts of information used in the service of other mental processes for a short time. Several studies associate having more working memory with <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746349/#:~:text=Working%20memory%20(WM)%20capacity%2C,cognitive%20abilities%20in%20healthy%20adults." target="_blank">higher cognitive function</a>. Of particular interest are the <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/40539693?seq=1" target="_blank">many studies</a> that have <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217681" target="_blank">shown that</a> a higher working memory relates to being better able to follow new and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22806448/" target="_blank">complex rules</a>, especially under stress.</p><p>This led the authors of the new study to suspect that there might be a connection between the working memory a person has and how well they socially distanced in the early days of the outbreak.</p><p>To find out, they surveyed 850 American adults from the Mechanical Turk platform immediately after the beginning of social distancing recommendations in March 2020. The questions focused on how well they were abiding by recently imposed social distancing orders. Participants also completed tests designed to measure working memory, fluid intelligence, how they viewed the costs and benefits of distancing, and the <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/big-five-personality.html#:~:text=The%20Big%20Five%20personality%20traits%20are%20extraversion%20(also%20often%20spelled,the%20continuum%20for%20each%20trait." target="_blank">Big Five Personality Test</a>. </p><p>Test subjects with stronger working memories were much more likely to report that they had taken precautions to avoid COVID-19, such as avoiding large gatherings, than others. The researchers also found a similar, but smaller, relationship between how well a subject socially distanced and their scores on a fluid intelligence and agreeableness test. <br> <br> The researchers looked for a possible mediator in the form of the test subject's cost-benefit analysis of social distancing. By asking subjects how much they agreed with statements such as "Social distancing may minimize the burden on medical resources, so people in need can use them," and comparing the results between the cost and benefits questions, the researchers were able to determine how each test subject viewed the cost and benefits of distancing. <br> <br> While they did discover a relationship between cost-benefit analysis and how well they distanced- people who decided the benefits of distancing outweighed the costs to themselves and others were better at distancing-the effect was only a partial meditator. This means that even after accounting for it, the amount of working memory a person had was still a factor in how much they choose to socially distance.</p><p> In a separate experiment, the researchers had test subjects play an ultimatum game. In this game, participants had to determine if they would share surplus resources with another player. In one iteration, the computer that played as the test subject's opponent could penalize the test subject if the offer they made was deemed "unfair."</p><p> As some of your might expect, the players with the best working memory came closest to a "fair" split, defined here as dividing the surplus in half, by a large margin. The authors suggest that this was because these subjects were better able to evaluate the consequences of not being fair and worked both to avoid punishment and maximize their reward.</p>
So, what does this mean for us?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="buUMHthW" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="bbb7bd4badeb90b08b654edd8bddcf44"> <div id="botr_buUMHthW_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/buUMHthW-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/buUMHthW-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/buUMHthW-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The findings suggest a correlation between working memory capacity and how well people stick to social distancing rules. This holds up after controlling for variables that might impact someone's ability to isolate, such as socioeconomic status, age, or even mood. As the authors mention in their concluding thoughts, this does make sense given the evidence that working memory aids both in following social norms and determining benefits and risks. </p><p> As they put it:</p><p>"…our findings are in line with the theoretical framework that social distancing compliance during the early outbreak of an infectious disease is driven by deliberate thoughts about the costs and benefits of this practice. Our novel observation is that the decision to follow the social distancing norm in prioritizing societal benefits over personal costs is contingent on one's WM capacity, the core of human cognition."</p><p>Co-Author Weizhen Xie expanded on this in an interview with <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/07/study-lower-cognitive-ability-linked-to-non-compliance-with-social-distancing-guidelines-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak-57293/amp/" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>:</p><p>"The decision of whether or not to follow social distancing guidelines is a difficult one, especially when there is a conflict between the societal benefits (e.g., prevent straining public health resources) and personal costs (e.g., loss in social connection and financial challenges). This decision critically relies on our mental capacity in retaining multiple pieces of potentially conflicting information in our head, which is referred to as working memory capacity."</p><p>Before you start getting too smug about how well you've followed social distancing regulations thus far, Co-author Weiwei Zhang wrote in an <a href="https://memory.ucr.edu/clarification-on-our-pnas-paper-regarding-working-memory-social-distancing/" target="_blank">online post</a> that working memory isn't the whole story:<br></p><p>"There is no doubt that many factors we did not include in this study may also contribute to social-distancing compliance, perhaps with even stronger relationships. It is, therefore, inappropriate to attribute individual differences in social distancing behaviors entirely to one's cognitive abilities such as working memory capacity and fluid intelligence."<strong><br> </strong><br> Within the study, the authors suggest that these findings might lead to new ways of helping the public comply with social distancing mandates in the future. They also express optimism that the amount of working memory needed to follow the rules will decline over time as the notion of wearing a mask and social distancing becomes more prevalent. These findings reinforce previous studies which suggest that working memory is an integral part of cognitive ability and may lead to further research on the practical results of having more or less to work with. </p><p>Many people agree that social distancing is difficult. In what sense it is difficult appears to vary between people. While it is fun to say that people who aren't wearing masks are stupid, the findings of this study speak to the inherent difficulty in assuring mass compliance with vital yet largely voluntary and frequently novel measures. </p>
Do we really know what we want in a romantic partner? If so, do our desires actually mean we match up with people who suit them?
- Two separate scientific studies suggest that our "ideals" don't really match what we look for in a romantic partner.
- Results of studies like these can change the way we date, especially in the online world.
- "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there," says Paul Eastwick, co-author of the study and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology.
Do we really know what we want in love or are we just guessing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="204859156383d358652fda6f7eadda0f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vQgfx2iYlso?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>More than 700 participants selected their top three qualities in a romantic partner (things like funny, attractive, inquisitive, kind, etc). They then reported their romantic desire for a series of people they knew personally. Some were blind date partners, others were romantic partners and some were simply platonic friends.</p><p>While participants did experience more romantic desire to the extent that these personal connections of theirs (people they knew) had the qualities they listed, there was more to the study. </p><p>Paul Eastwick, co-author and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-romantic-partner-random-stranger.html" target="_blank">explains</a>: "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there." </p><p>The participants also considered the extent to which their personal acquaintances possessed three attributes nominated by some other random person in the study. For example, if Kris listed "down-to-earth", intelligent and thoughtful as her own top three attributes, Vanessa also experienced more desire for people with those specific traits. </p>
Does what we want really match up with what we find?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0NDA4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1OTQ0OTY5OX0.l-kqQna5vb_Ah1F-zTfTebr7qso1q0VCw5F5OhBdR_g/img.jpg?width=980" id="66b69" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c1e3a1bb9d576872ef5dce39b2e8e80" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="illustration of a man and woman matching on a dating app" />
What we claim to want and what we look for may be two separate things...
Image by GoodStudio on Shutterstock<p>So the question became: are we really listing what we want in an ideal partner or are we just listing vague qualities that people typically consider as positive?</p><p>"So in the end, we want partners who have positive qualities," Sparks explained, "but the qualities you specifically list do not actually have special predictive power for you." </p><p>In other words, the idea that we find certain things attractive in a person does not mean we actively seek out people who have those qualities, despite saying it's what we want in a love interest. The authors of this study suggest these findings could have implications for the way we approach online dating in the digital age. </p><p>This isn't the first study of its kind to suggest that what we find in love isn't really what we were looking for. The evidence suggests that we really are consistent in the abstract of it all: when asked to evaluate what you want on paper, you are more likely to suggest overall attractiveness in accordance with what you've stated are important ideals to you. But real life isn't so similar. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201506/when-it-comes-love-do-you-really-know-what-you-want" target="_blank">Psychology Today,</a> who covered a 2015 study with similar results, initial face-to-face encounters have very little effect on our romantic desire. "When we initially meet someone, our level of romantic interest in the person is independent of our standards."</p><p>While you might have no immediate interest in John, he may fit your criteria of being kind, loyal, and intelligent. Similarly, someone may be attracted to Elaine even though she doesn't have any of the qualities they originally said were important to them. </p><p><strong>What does this all mean? </strong></p><p>The authors of both the 2015 and 2020 studies say the same thing: give someone a chance before writing them off as a poor match. If your initial attraction is independent of the standards you've set out, the qualities which you've listed as important to you, the first time you meet someone may not give you enough information to make an informed decision.</p><p>"It's really easy to spend time hunting around online for someone who seems to match your ideals," said Sparks, "But our research suggests an alternative approach: Don't be too picky ahead of time about whether a partner matches your ideals on paper. Or, even better, let your friends pick your dates for you." </p>