Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Imposter Phenomenon, Collegiate Pilots, Self-Handicapping
Background: Imposter Syndrome (IS), also called Imposter Phenomenon (IP), has been studied in a variety of paradigms over the past few decades. However, IP is not a well-researched concept in the field of aviation, and no studies that we know of have examined this phenomenon with student pilots.
Method: Two hundred and forty-one student pilots were interviewed from two southeastern universities with flight schools. Participants were asked a series of questions about demographics, flight training, personality measures, self-efficacy, self-handicapping, and perceived organizational support. In addition, they responded to the Clance IP scale.
Results: A regression equation was created from the first dataset and tested for model fit with a second dataset. Four factors were found to be significant, including measures of self-handicapping, measures of self-efficacy, income, and the type of flight school, accounting for approximately 40% of the variance in the data. Model fit was strong, providing future researchers with a predictive model of IP for student pilots.
Conclusion: These findings show that IP is prevalent in student pilots and correlates with self-handicapping. This is a concern that should be addressed in aviation programs.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Mehta, R., Rice, S., Li, T., Cooke, S., Lange, R., Black, M., Smith, C., Milner, M., Winter, S. R., Ragbir, N., & Vaughn, A. (2020). What Type of Collegiate Pilot is Likely to Experience Imposter Phenomenon?. Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 29(3). https://doi.org/10.15394/jaaer.2020.1857