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November 1981

Self-righteous Rage and the Attribution of Blame

Author Affiliations

From the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(11):1233-1238. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780360049004

• Clear case formulation requires organization of observation into descriptive units. A clinically useful descriptive unit is the state of mind, as related to other common states and to patterns of transition between states. This report describes self-righteous rage, other dominant affect states commonly associated with it, and the incitements to occurrence of this mental state. Careful study of repetitive patterns clarifies some of the explanations for an excessive readiness to enter such states and indicates how to formulate the developmental level of blame-attribution functions in individual patients.