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To describe someone who thinks of themselves to have some characteristics, I guess we can use "wannabe".

What is a word that describes someone who is thought to have some characteristics by others, that is, a word meaning "supposed-to-be" or "thought-to-be"?

For example, I want to improve the word choices in

If you can convince the superior-wannabe they are better than the inferior-thought-to-be, they won’t notice you’re picking their pocket. Give them somebody to look down on, and they’ll empty their pockets for you.

Thanks.

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    Someone might be called a wannabe X if they themselves think they are (or will be) X. Saying he's supposedly X can have the same sense (he makes that claim), but can also be used in contexts where the implication is that other people say/think that he's X. – FumbleFingers Aug 16 '19 at 16:03
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    I think the rhythm sounds nicer if you reverse the order: If you can convice the wannabe superior that they are better than the assumed-to-be inferior, they won't notice you're picking their pocket. – S Conroy Aug 16 '19 at 16:29
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Perceived or presumed would both work in that context.

...that they are better than those perceived (as) inferior...

To emphasize that the perception or presumption is that of the 'wannabe superior,' rather than a general impression, you can use 'their' instead (and I'd suggest this phrasing for that particular sentence).

...that they are better than their presumed inferiors...

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Incarnate

in human form: used for emphasizing that someone is very similar to what has just been mentioned

Example sentence -

They looked at me as though I was the devil incarnate.

Source: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/incarnate#incarnate__1

So, I am not too sure but this might just work -

If you can convince the superior incarnate they are better than the inferior incarnate, they won’t notice you’re picking their pocket. Give them somebody to look down on, and they’ll empty their pockets for you.

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    I have only really heard this as devil incarnate which lends itself to perjoration. – marcellothearcane Aug 16 '19 at 19:12

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