Self-righteousness (also called sententiousness, holier-than-thou) is a feeling of smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one's beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.
The term "self-righteous" is often considered derogatory (see, for example, journalist and essayist James Fallows' description of self-righteousness in regards to Nobel Peace Prize winners) particularly because self-righteous individuals are often thought to exhibit hypocrisy, an idea similar to that of the Freudian defense mechanism of reaction formation. The connection between self-righteousness and hypocrisy predates Freud's views, however, as evidenced by the 1899 book Good Mrs. Hypocrite: A Study in Self-Righteousness, by the pseudonymous author "Rita."
In 2008, a comprehensive study on the subject of self-righteousness was undertaken by the University of Paris. The results of the study indicated a growing perception of self-righteousness as more fashionable than other forms of righteousness
Self-righteousness (also called sententiousness) is a feeling of smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one's beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.
Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).