Mentality is a stable method of a peculiar perception of the world, a special ability to respond to the surrounding reality, capable of reuniting people into historical and social communities (nations, ethnic groups, social strata). Mentality is in psychology the deepest level of personal and group, conscious and unconscious. It is mainly realized in certain stable behavioral forms and emotional sensations that induce the subject (social groups) to a certain type of perception, actions and thinking. This is a kind of psychological weapon, a thinking tool: the main purpose of which is to help a person (society) to realize and perceive the world around. The mentality as the historical experience of the ancestors, is able to influence the life views of the descendants.

The hundred-year influence: social structures, culture, human environment - forms the mentality, and in response it, as a cultural and historical factor, influences the formation of these reasons. Following this, the mentality is the root of the development of culture, in parallel acts as a result of the impact of customs and culture.

What is mentality

When there is a need to describe something to us incomprehensible, elusive, while existing in reality, people often resort to the concept of mentality. Such a designation is also used to explain unusual behavior for us, socially determined norms, the integrity of the people, their ethnicity.

The mentality is a spiritual repository inherent in the presented culture, as well as psychological characteristics that lie in the origins of the manners and traditions of society, and are certain automatic responses to the standard kind of situation and event. At an early age, the development of certain ways of thinking is activated on the basis of the experience gained. This kind of thinking may differ radically from various other cultures.

The concept of mentality, as a term, was introduced to science by the scientist Levi-Bruhl. Many different authors introduce their own content into the basis of this concept (they presented it as a contradictory map of the world, automatism of consciousness, pre-reflective layer of thinking, collective unconscious), as a result, complicate the comparative analysis.

Mentality is a concept in psychology which, up to the present moment, should be considered strictly non-differentiated, affecting a number of aspects of the subject's life. Trying to compare or combine all the concepts into one, we risk to get a likeness of an intuitive image, but in no way a logical verified category. Based on multiple translations from the Greek languages, the notion of mentality is "spirit-related", a mental warehouse.

The mentality, being a characteristic of the subject, unites the conscious and the unconscious. It appears as a set of psychological and social attitudes aimed at realizing and perceiving the flow of information that it receives in the course of reflections, sensations. In all cultures, people, as a rule, exchange information among themselves: they ask something, give each other advice, show a personal attitude to certain things, tell jokes, describe the state of illness. It follows that the structure of communicative acts, identical in all cultures, but the very specificity of awareness, assessment and regulation of this structure of behavior is completely different. As an example, the attitude towards laughter: in Chinese traditions, it is customary to smile when you inform about your family mourning, in the cultures of European countries, such a gesture of behavior would be taken as an insult.

The mentality creates a hierarchy of configurations of social consciousness, explaining by this the ethnic concept of the importance of some components of the spiritual sphere and the absence of this importance in others.

There are a number of certain types of mentality depending on:

- the structure of society (medieval, ancient, others);

- racial differences (Asian, Mongoloid, others);

- gender differences, age (male, teenage);

- political regime (revolutionary, totalitarian and others);

- religions (Islam, Judaism, others);

- intellectual development (intelligentsia, commoners and others).

Social mentality

The mentality is not substantial like thinking and imagination, therefore it cannot be counted, it cannot be felt by touch, taste or hearing. Directly behind it it is impossible to observe, treat as an equal component of interaction, it does not have a direct impact on the development of phenomena and processes.

The mentality is the content of the internal sphere of the subject, which is formed in the course of life, as a result of the transformation of the natural and social world into acts of subjectivity.

The mentality does not exist beyond the borders of its material carriers. Living for a long period of time in one place, people organize into social groups, their mentality begins to change in the same way, since all this time they are affected by the same factors. The presence of such a fact confirms that the mentality is one, is inherent in every subject of society, but it can be radically different from the mentality of another society (for example, a group of people of a different religion).

It is the traditions and values ​​of the given habitat of the subjects that have a great influence on the content of the mentality of society. The mentality of society represents the cultural environment of our habitat, in which we grew up, studied, brought up and we live now. This is the main factor influencing the thinking of each subject of the community, its daily behavior and decisions.

The mentality includes two levels:

- genetic: natural resources with which a subject is born - a level that cannot be changed;

- acquired: our upbringing, habitat - the level that can be changed.

As a subjective form, the mentality forms the spiritual world of a person, reflecting the dynamics of inner mental states and mental properties of a person, which a person manifests in specific reactions, peculiar only to her, to the effects of culture and society. As a set of actions of subjects, the mentality of the whole society forms the complex of norms of motivational behavior in a particular social group. In its subjective form, the mentality transforms the individual into a personality, and the group into a whole society united by values ​​and culture. The etymological meaning of mentality means - “soul”, more precisely, “soul composition”. But the modern use of the term does not identify it specifically with the soul. The concept of the soul extends only to half of the phenomena and their qualities, which constitute the scope of the concept of mentality. In the hypostasis of the soul, she acts as the psychological mood of the subject, expressing personal behavioral features.

As a way of seeing the world, mentality is not identical for such a thing as ideology. It is not a scientific, philosophical or ethnic system, it is a psychological level of information reproduction, on which emotions are one with thoughts. Today, the concept of mentality is used not only to designate cultural stereotypes, the peculiar thinking of large social societies, but also when interpreting specific beliefs, ways of thinking, small groups. Researchers of mentality believe that its formation begins at 3 years of age, and lasts for about 12 years. At the same time, they highlight the most significant factors influencing its formation:

- parental behavior. At the very young age, the child unconsciously, to some extent, absorbs the worldview of his parents;

- the media, literature, cinema, all this leaves its mark in the behavior, which means in the mentality, for the entire period of maturing of the subject;

- The influence of idols: real or unreal characters, the imitation of the behavior of which also influences the formation of mentality;

- state policy: external, internal. It directs the vector of development of the people in the economic and cultural spheres, respectively, and each subject separately;

- public organizations, which in this or that sphere have influence on the subject;

- has a great influence: school, church, higher education institutions.

This list can, of course, be continued, but it is necessary to emphasize that the mentality of the ethnos, which is created over a longer period of time, in its measure affects the formation of absolutely all these conditions, which subsequently have a great influence on each subject.

Mentality forms in itself a complex of qualities of a specific ethnos or social stratum. And the key is not the quantity, but the quality, since the social and national structure was formed historically and absorbed the centuries-old foundations and culture.