Fixed mindset and imposter phenomenon: Determining the correlation and prevalence among pharmacy students

Allison M. Kenneally, Aric Schadler, Jeff Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: To determine the prevalence of fixed vs. growth mindsets and imposter phenomenon (IP) scores among pharmacy students at one institution, identify variables that explained variance in fixed mindsets and IP, and determine if a correlation exists. Methods: A survey was developed and administered to first- to fourth-year students at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. The survey included demographic questions, the Clance Imposter Phenomenon Scale (CIPS), and the Implicit Theories of Intelligence Scale (ITIS). Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were conducted to determine the prevalence of IP and fixed vs. growth mindsets, identify variables that explained variance in CIPS and ITIS scores, and investigate if a correlation exists. Results: Pharmacy students reported a high rate of IP experiences; mean (SD) CIPS score of 67.2 (14). Thirty percent of students reported at least moderate IP experiences and 68.2% reported frequent or intense IP experiences. The majority of students (59.6%) reported a growth mindset. Gender was the only tested variable that explained variance in CIPS or ITIS scores, as male gender respondents had lower CIPS score as compared to those reporting female gender (63.27 vs 68.87, p=.006). A correlation was found between lower ITIS and higher CIPS scores (r = −0.221, P < .001). Conclusions: Pharmacy students surveyed exhibited a high rate of IP and growth mindsets. Understanding that fixed mindsets and high rates of IP are correlated can help educators make informed decisions regarding targeted interventions, with the goal to improve overall student wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Alex Isaacs and Dr. Monica Miller of Purdue University College of Pharmacy for their assistance with crafting and proofreading the survey for students.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Fixed mindset
  • Growth mindset
  • Imposter phenomenon
  • Pharmacy students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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