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Hypocrisy vs. Contradiction: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 29, 2024
Hypocrisy is professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues one does not hold or practice, while contradiction is a lack of consistency or a logical opposition between two statements or ideas.

Key Differences

Hypocrisy involves a discrepancy between one’s declared beliefs or values and their actions, indicating a false display of virtue or morality. Contradiction, however, refers to a situation where ideas, statements, or actions are opposed to each other, lacking consistency.
A hypocrite may preach honesty but behave deceitfully, showing a gap between professed values and actual behavior. In contrast, a contradiction occurs when someone makes two opposing statements, like claiming to love solitude yet constantly seeking company.
Hypocrisy is often seen as a moral failing, involving pretense and deceit. Contradiction might not imply moral judgment but highlights a logical inconsistency or a conflict in ideas or statements.
Hypocrisy is a personal trait indicating insincerity, while contradiction can occur in ideas, beliefs, statements, or situations without necessarily involving personal moral failure.
Hypocrisy often involves an element of judgment or criticism towards others for behaviors that the hypocrite also exhibits. Contradiction is more about the inconsistency in logic or ideas, which may not always involve moral or ethical dimensions.

Comparison Chart


Moral or ethical duplicity
Logical inconsistency or opposition


Personal behavior and beliefs
Ideas, statements, or actions


Indicates insincerity or pretense
Highlights inconsistency or conflict

Moral Judgment

Often involves a negative moral judgment
Does not necessarily involve moral judgment


Preaching about charity but not donating
Saying one enjoys quiet but living in a noisy area

Hypocrisy and Contradiction Definitions


Pretending to hold beliefs that one does not truly possess.
His claim of being environmentally conscious was hypocrisy, as he frequently littered.


Direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency.
There was a contradiction between her words and actions.


The practice of claiming to have moral standards to which one's behavior does not conform.
He accused the politician of hypocrisy for opposing policies they once supported.


A lack of agreement or consistency between two or more facts.
The two eyewitness accounts were in contradiction with each other.


A display of false virtue or morality.
Her public speeches on family values were hypocrisy, given her personal conduct.


A statement that is the opposite of another statement.
Saying he was both early and late is a contradiction.


Feigning qualities or beliefs that one does not have.
Her kindness towards her colleagues was hypocrisy, masking her true indifference.


A situation in which inherent factors are in conflict.
The company's policy on sustainability was a contradiction to its practices.


Behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.
It was hypocrisy for him to criticize others for the same mistakes he made.


A combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.
His statement was a contradiction, as he previously claimed the opposite.


The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.


The act or an instance of contradicting
The witness's contradiction of other testimony.


An act or instance of such falseness.


The state of being contradicted
A supervisor who cannot tolerate contradiction from any subordinate.


The contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham.


The claim or pretense of having beliefs, standards, qualities, behaviours, virtues, motivations, etc. which one does not really have.


The practice of engaging in the same behaviour or activity for which one criticises another; moral self-contradiction whereby the behavior of one or more people belies their own claimed or implied possession of certain beliefs, standards or virtues.


An instance of any or all of the above.


The act or practice of a hypocrite; a feigning to be what one is not, or to feel what one does not feel; a dissimulation, or a concealment of one's real character, disposition, or motives; especially, the assuming of false appearance of virtue or religion; a simulation of goodness.
Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy.
Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.


An expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction


Insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have


Can hypocrisy be unintentional?

Usually, hypocrisy involves a conscious choice, so it's rarely unintentional.

What is hypocrisy?

Pretending to hold beliefs or virtues that one does not actually possess.

How is contradiction different from hypocrisy?

Contradiction is a logical inconsistency, while hypocrisy involves insincere behavior or pretense.

Are contradictions always obvious?

Not always; sometimes they require careful analysis to identify.

Why is hypocrisy considered negative?

Because it involves deceit and a failure to practice what one preaches.

Is self-contradiction common?

Yes, people often hold conflicting beliefs or change their opinions, leading to self-contradiction.

Is every contradiction a sign of hypocrisy?

No, contradictions can occur without hypocrisy, as they may simply be inconsistencies or errors.

How can contradictions be resolved?

By reevaluating and aligning one's statements or beliefs for consistency.

Can a person be contradictory without being hypocritical?

Yes, as contradiction can be just a logical error or a change in opinion.

Do hypocrites realize their hypocrisy?

Some do, but others may be oblivious or in denial about it.

Do contradictions imply dishonesty?

Not necessarily, as they can be accidental or due to a lack of information.

How is hypocrisy harmful in society?

It can undermine trust and contribute to cynicism about moral standards.

Is hypocrisy always deliberate?

Mostly, as it involves a conscious misrepresentation of one’s beliefs or virtues.

How can hypocrisy be identified?

By observing a gap between someone’s stated beliefs and their actions.

Can contradictions be intentional?

Yes, sometimes contradictions are used deliberately in rhetoric or for emphasis.

Can an organization be hypocritical?

Yes, when its practices don’t align with its stated values or principles.

What leads to hypocrisy?

Often, a desire to maintain a certain image or gain advantage without genuinely adhering to the professed standards.

How does society view hypocrisy?

Generally negatively, as it is seen as deceitful and insincere.

Can contradictions be beneficial?

They can be useful in critical thinking and exploring different perspectives.

Is resolving contradictions important in logical reasoning?

Yes, as it ensures clarity and coherence in thought and argumentation.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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