The feigning of beliefs and virtues not actually held or possessed becomes most obvious where there is a marked double standard of morality. Hypocrisy may gloss over considerable immorality, thus maintaining the respectability of the person in question and any position of power that he or she has. Such hypocrisy serves to frustrate people who suffer or may think they suffer as a result.
Two systems of morality can generally be found in any society at any given period of time: a strict or austere system and a liberal or loose one. The latter is generally found among the more wealthy and the former among the poorer. Adam Smith considered the poor to be more vulnerable to the consequences of loose behaviour and excesses than the rich.