It's a psychology text and I have a problem understanding the bold part:

But still, the advice to be more mindful often contains a hefty scoop of moralizing smugness, a kind of “moment-shaming” for the distractible, like a stern teacher scolding us for failing to concentrate in class.

what does ''hefty scoop of moralizing smugness'' mean?

what's the general idea of this paragraph ?


2 Answers 2


Hefty: "very large"

Scoop: "the amount of something that is held in a scoop"

Here the idiom "hefty scoop" is used figuratively to mean "a large amount". The author is saying that those spiritual teachers who encourage "mindfulness" often have a kind of "I'm better than you because I can meditate" attitude.

You can of course use it literally:

Mom added a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream to the bowl before adding chocolate syrup and candy sprinkles.

[Edit] See also sanctimonous "pretending to be morally better than other people"

  • 1
    I wouldn't assume that figurative uses are easily understood once the literal meaning is figured out – understanding figurative uses can be very tricky for the non-native speaker.
    – J.R.
    Nov 30, 2016 at 19:09
  • 1
    @J.R. fair enough, edited my answer.
    – Andrew
    Nov 30, 2016 at 22:58
  • @Andrew it means a large amount of smugness.right? what role does this '' moralizing'' play here?
    – Masih K
    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:45
  • @MasihK Moralize ("to express beliefs about what is good behavior and what is bad behavior"). Put together, "moralizing smugness" implies the person is doing this in a sanctimonious manner, ("pretending to be morally better than other people")
    – Andrew
    Dec 1, 2016 at 13:34
  • @Andrew You made it really clear. but isn't smugness the object of moralize(transitive). to me according to dictionaries it means whether: to express good and bad aspects(behavior) of being smug or: to imrove the morality of being smug. I'm not sure but I think if smug were used as an adjective it would've made more sense. right?
    – Masih K
    Dec 1, 2016 at 14:06

Hefty generally refers to something bulky and heavy. In this case, a 'hefty scoop' refers to a large amount, with some implication that it weighs down or overwhelms other elements of the conversation.

The general idea will vary somewhat depending on context, but roughly "Advice to be more mindful will often be received as hypocritical and judgemental".

  • I'm talking more about ''moralizing smugness'' here and the relationship between first part of this paragraph and the example that the writer gave.
    – Masih K
    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:49

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