Is the cheat syndrome common among mathematicians

The cheat syndrome: what is it and how to get rid of it

Psychologist Gail Matthews (Gail Matthews) found that the vast majority of people who have succeeded admitted that at one stage or another in life they felt like cheaters.

To find out if you are one of them, answer the questions:

  • Did you attribute success to success, the right moment, or the failure?
  • Do you agree with the statement, "If I can, anyone can?"
  • Do you suffer from minor flaws in your work?
  • Do you feel depressed because of constructive criticism, do you see it as direct evidence of your unsuitability?
  • If you succeed, do you feel like you've cheated on everyone again?
  • Are you worried about being "exposed" and it is only a matter of time?

The most interesting thing about impostor syndrome is that you are already successful. The problem is, you can't accept it.

People with Cheat Syndrome have trouble turning their competence into an inner sensation. You can see your achievements on the resume, but you are emotionally disconnected from them. The story your resume tells about you and the story you tell yourself don't dock. Let's talk about why this is happening and what you can do to correct this condition.

What is Cheat Syndrome?

Why, when there are so many omnibuses that don't know anything, are a lot of really smart people unsure?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so confident and the wise are so full of doubt.

Bertrand Russell (Bertrand Russell), British philosopher, mathematician, public figure

Psychologists have come up with the answer: It's about cognitive bias known as the Munning Effect - Kruger. The bottom line is that stupid people do not have enough experience to properly assess how low their qualifications are, so that even when they are not, they are convinced of their genius. On the flip side, people with experience recognize how many times they have been wrong in the past and therefore tend to underestimate their abilities even when they are right.

Many successful people who have faced Cheat Syndrome have described their feelings.

I feel very uncomfortable because of the exaggerated assessment given to the cause of my whole life. I must think I'm an unintentional rascal. Albert Einstein (Albert Einstein), Nobel Laureate in Physics
I've already written eleven books, but every time I think: just like that - and people will understand that I'm not worth it. I'm playing catch-up with everyone and they'll catch me now. Maya Angelou (Maya Angelou), an American writer and poet
I always wait for the police to pick up the untalented and arrest me. Mike Myers (Mike Myers), actor, comedian, screenwriter and film producer

But the irony is that it is not just talented people who are affected by cheat syndrome, but those who are least called liars.

Some researchers claim that the cheater's syndrome occurs equally in men and women, others - that it is much more common among women. The term “impostor syndrome” was coined by two scientists, Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes.

Various studies at companies show that women often rate their work worse than they actually are, while men act on the contrary. When medical students were asked to rate themselves, students ranked lower than classmates, despite the fact that the teachers in this group said the girls in this group were ahead of the boys. After studying a thousand Harvard students, scientists found that girls score lower than boys for almost every subject related to legal practice. The situation is exacerbated when a woman judges herself in the presence of other people or in areas that are considered masculine.

Sheryl Sandberg (Sheryl Sandberg), Facebook's chief operating officer, a writer

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that girls' performance improved dramatically when the number of students on the course exceeded 15%. Girls who attend separate schools have better career prospects than those who attend regular school.

Reality can change under the influence of emotions. When you feel exhausted, your cognitive performance deteriorates. The feeling of social exclusion makes you (temporarily) dumber.

And if you're in a situation where stereotypes tell you you can't handle it, you will do the job worse than you can. Are girls less knowledgeable in math than boys? No doubt if you remind them of it.

The addition of graphs to indicate gender in the test means that women can cope with worse tasks than men.

But that also applies to men. Those of the stronger sex who were told during the study that the test tests “the ability to empathize, better developed in women” had less impressive results than the men who were told the test “tests the ability to process comprehensively of information ”tested. Using the same scenario, there were no significant differences in results from women.

If you feel like an outsider or deal with negative perceptions of your own abilities, you may find yourself under the influence of Cheat Syndrome. But if you're really good at showing yourself why can't you accept that as a fact and get set? There are mutliple reasons for this.

The evil circle

Cheat syndrome is directly related to fear and fear of failure. You keep moving to maintain visibility ... But even if you work hard so you don't get it, you only increase your confidence that you are a cheater. “You have deceived everyone again. But next time you won't be so happy. "

Unsurprisingly, scientists have found a link between imposter syndrome and the fear of failure. In any case, we spend our whole conscious life avoiding mistakes. In the world of the deceiver, there is simply no constructive criticism: there is only condemnation. And the lack of consent in some way is further proof that you are a liar. And the rating is slightly lower than good, is considered an official charge in this one.

And you keep working harder but not feeling any better. Jim Carrey said of his impotence syndrome and the hard work that followed, "If I continue to consider myself worthless, I'll become the king of show business."

Not only do you feel exhausted, but you also feel lonely. You cannot tell anyone about your "secret". You can't ask for help because you will look bankrupt.

In the end, it's boring. Work hard, afraid that you will be "exposed" and not able to ask for help - a lot of stress. As a result, you are doing irreparable harm to yourself. But there are other ways to deal with cheat syndrome. Let's get into them.

1. Focus on learning

Psychologist Carol Dweck recommends focusing on the learning process, not the results.

People with Cheat Syndrome often think that they are not smart enough. And they are sure that they cannot get any smarter. All because they focus on specific goals, such as "How can I get the highest score?" Instead of “How can I get better?”.

Focusing on self improvement means admitting that you are not perfect, but you know that you can get better. And with this installation, you really can. Even if you made a mistake, you will understand that you have learned something new.

Focusing only on the results of the activity means not calming down until after death. This is incredible stress that you will encounter unhealthy and likely immoral acts.

2. Make an effort to rate “pretty good”

There are bugs in Microsoft software. Developers are aware of this. And that's normal. Every project is started at Microsoft, certainly knowing that the new product will be flawed. After all, if they wanted to make it perfect, it would never have been done. Not at all. So they focused on the “good enough” criterion.

Just stop expecting yourself to be in a constant state of ideality. Instead, try to be comfortable at a reasonable level. The reality is that even the brightest and most talented of us spend most of our time doing normal tasks that don't involve doing anything supernatural.

A professor at Swarthmore College, Barry Schwartz, says that "good enough" is the secret to happiness.

Instead of trying to maintain the illusion that you are perfect, admit that you are not. Don't try to get confident in yourself, learn to sympathize with yourself. Forgive me if you screw something up. Studies confirm that self-compassion has the same benefits as self-confidence, but with no flaws.

3. Remove the mask

In fact, get rid of Cheat Syndrome simply: remove the mask. Don't be a cheater.

If we all knew each other's secrets, how could that be any consolation.

John Churton Collins, English critic

Pressure, pain, discomfort - all for the sake of secrecy. As we noted earlier, 70% of successful people felt it at some point in their life. A significant number of people are experiencing it right now. So don't be afraid to be in the majority.

And don't be afraid to talk to others. No, you shouldn't email all of your friends and co-workers "I'm a COMMANDER". Self-deception is also not required. You just have to share what you are feeling with someone. You suffer silently because you are silent.

Talking to others is an effective strategy. We cannot know what is going on in another person's mind, although it is entirely possible that he or she is confused as well. So make an effort to learn how to communicate with others. When you see people who admire (or fear) you worry about their accomplishments from time to time, you can look at your own worries in new ways.

Talk to someone who you think may have encountered Cheat Syndrome and know how to deal with it. When you share your feelings, there are two important things:

  1. You will find that you are no longer a cheater. You don't pretend You took off the mask.
  2. You will be convinced that another person has experienced the same thing. You are not alone. And that doesn't have to be hidden.

And now let's go back and decide to take the very first and most important step in getting rid of Cheat Syndrome.


How to Get Rid of Cheat Syndrome:

  1. Focus on the learning process. You can get better by trying. Focus on it.
  2. Focus on the principle of “good enough”. Don't try to be perfect. Even if you make a mistake, don't let it stop you.
  3. Remove the mask. Share your thoughts with someone who knows this feeling. You are not alone.
It seems that you are walking the street naked and open on the eyes too much of his heart and his head curious, and everything that is hidden in you, exhibited. When you feel this, you are doing everything right.

Neil Gaiman (Neil Gaiman), the famous English science fiction writer, author of comic novels and comics

What should be the first step?

Schedule your own exposure. Right now. Write to the person you can talk to about this and schedule a meeting. Each of us wears a mask. This is part of life. But from now on, if you want to wear one of these, don't do it because you're a cheat, but because you're a superhero.