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Moses, R. Moses-Hrushovski, R. (1990). Reflections on the Sense of Entitlement. Psychoanal. St. Child, 45:61-78.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 45:61-78

Reflections on the Sense of Entitlement

Rafael Moses, M.D. and Rena Moses-Hrushovski, Ph.D.


This paper looks at entitlement as consisting of three possible modes: an appropriate adequate sense of entitlement; an excessive sense of entitlement; and a sense of entitlement which is not usually in awareness. The authors discuss some of the antecedents of an excessive sense of entitlement as well as certain specific family constellations and traumatic events which seem to encourage or facilitate its existence. Clinical examples are presented to show the importance of an excessive sense of entitlement—related to narcissism—as it appears in psychotherapy or psychoanalysis; yet it is also visible culturally and politically. Entitlement and narcissistic proclivities are viewed according to the developmental history as well as the clinical manifestations (intensity, frequency, duration, and spread).

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