Sufferers of Capgras Syndrome come to believe that their loved ones – or even their own bodies – have been replaced by identical looking replicas.
Professor Matthew Hornsey uses this phenomenon as a platform to explore the theme of impostor-ism. He tells the breathtaking stories of people who have faked race, sex or nobility to get ahead, and examines what these people tell us about the slippery relationship between image and reality.
Why would people pretend to be someone they’re not, and why are we so slow to spot it? And why are we haunted by the nagging feeling that we have become impostors in our own lives?
The battle for authenticity is a modern obsession… but is it a battle we’re doomed to lose?
Matthew Hornsey is a Professor of Social Psychology at The University of Queensland. He has published over 90 papers, with a particular focus on (a) why people resist seemingly reasonable messages, and (b) how people manage the dynamic relationship between being an individual and being a good group member.
He has received an Early Career Award from the Australian Psychological Society, and has served as an Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of Psychology and Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. He also serves on the editorial boards of six other journals.
Continuing Professional Development:
This presentation will be of interest and relevance to social, clinical, health, counselling and organisational psychologists in particular, as well as psychologists with general registration. It will demonstrate the power and importance of identity, and, more specifically, the consequences of passing ourselves off as someone we're not. Prof Hornsey will discuss the background and underlying causes of Capgras syndrome, notorious cases of people faking their race, sex and nobility to get on, and also the more commonly recognised imposter phenomenon that arises in the workplace when reputation exceeds one's true abilities.
Participants will gain a greater understanding of the impact that imposter-ism has on our lives, to answer critical questions about the reasons why people pretend to be someone they're not and indeed, why we are so slow to spot it. He will also discuss its clinical implications for the mood, well-being and self-esteem of impostors.
CPD points: 1