God complex

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A god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility.


A person with a god complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, complex, or intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks. A person with a god complex is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of his or her personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.[1][2]

Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.[1] One should understand, however, the difference between a person with a God complex and an individual seeking to logically prove that a society actually is in need of a program or privilege without which the individual is legitimately being shortchanged.

God complex is not a clinical term or diagnosable disorder and does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The first person to use the term god-complex was Ernest Jones (1913-51).[3] His description, at least in the contents page of Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis, describes the god complex as belief that one is a god.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kaplan, Harold I.; Benjamin J. Sadock (1972). Modern Group Book, volume 4: Sensitivity through encounter and marathon. J. Aronson. 
  2. ^ TEDGlobal 2011. "Tim Harford, TED talk". Ted.com. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  3. ^ Deep Blue at the University of Michigan umich.edu Retrieved 2012-01-22
  4. ^ Jones, Ernest (15 March 2007). "Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis". Lightning Source Inc. p. 472. ISBN 1-4067-0338-9. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 

External links[edit]

  • McLemee.com - The Shrink with a God Complex Ronald Hayman Newsday, (April 22, 2001)
  • News-Service.Stanford.edu - Did Caligula have a God complex? Stanford, Oxford archaeologists find evidence that depraved tyrant annexed sacred temple, John Sanford (September 10, 2003)