In the psychology context, entitlement refers to a personality trait characterized by an individual's belief that they are inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment, regardless of their actions or achievements. Individuals with a strong sense of entitlement often expect favorable treatment and outcomes to be granted to them without corresponding effort or reciprocation. This trait can influence various aspects of behavior and interpersonal relationships, and it is often discussed in the realms of social psychology, personality psychology, and clinical psychology.

Key Aspects of Entitlement:

  • Unrealistic Expectations: Individuals feeling entitled may have unrealistic expectations about what they deserve from others, leading to frequent disappointment and frustration when their expectations are not met.
  • Lack of Reciprocity: A sense of entitlement often involves a disregard for the principle of reciprocity, expecting others to contribute more to the relationship or situation than they are willing to give in return.
  • Narcissism: Entitlement is closely associated with narcissistic personality traits, where individuals have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.
  • Interpersonal Conflicts: A strong sense of entitlement can lead to conflicts in relationships, as entitled individuals may struggle to understand or respect others' boundaries, needs, and feelings.

Application Areas:

  • Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment: Understanding entitlement is important in diagnosing and treating certain personality disorders, particularly Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), where entitlement is a key feature.
  • Workplace Dynamics: In organizational psychology, entitlement can impact team cohesion, leadership effectiveness, and overall workplace morale.
  • Social and Cultural Analysis: Entitlement can be examined within broader social and cultural contexts to understand its origins and how societal values and norms may reinforce or challenge entitled behaviors.

Well-Known Examples:

  • Psychological Research: Studies have explored the concept of entitlement in relation to social media usage, finding correlations between high levels of entitlement and certain online behaviors, such as aggressive or confrontational posting.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: In therapy, addressing feelings of entitlement can involve techniques aimed at fostering empathy, developing realistic self-assessments, and promoting healthy relationship skills.

Challenges and Risks:

  • Relationship Strain: Entitlement can strain personal and professional relationships, leading to isolation or conflict due to perceived insensitivity or unreasonable demands.
  • Psychological Distress: Individuals with high levels of entitlement may experience higher levels of anger, dissatisfaction, and difficulty coping with life's challenges, as their expectations are often unmet.


Entitlement in psychology is a trait characterized by the belief in deserving special treatment and privileges without corresponding contributions. It can lead to unrealistic expectations, interpersonal conflicts, and is often associated with narcissistic traits. Recognizing and addressing entitlement behavior is important in clinical settings, as well as in managing social and organizational dynamics, to promote healthier relationships and personal growth.

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