[Chronicle] Paranoid? You Must Be a Grad Student


A mild case of paranoia might even help you navigate the tricky path to that terminal degree, says Roderick M. Kramer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

It’s an academic cliché that graduate students are paranoid, but Mr. Kramer has actually crafted a linear model to explain it. The model depicts how factors common to the graduate-school experience—like being a newcomer unsure of your standing, and knowing that you’re being sized up constantly—can ultimately induce social paranoia, a heightened sensitivity to what you imagine others might be thinking about you.

“That self-consciousness translates into a tendency to be extra vigilant and maybe overprocess information on how you’re treated,” Mr. Kramer says.

More reasons why school is deeply problematic.