Journal section "Theoretical issues"

Mentality and Mentality-Driven Behavior Stereotypes: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of the Research

Shabunova A.A., Leonidova G.V., Ustinova K.A.

Volume 10, Issue 2, 2017

Shabunova A.A., Leonidova G.V., Ustinova K.A. Mentality and Mentality-Driven Behavior Stereotypes: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations of the Research. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2017, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 60-76. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2017.2.50.3

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2017.2.50.3

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The paper summarizes and systematizes theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the concept of “mentality”. The authors review historical-philosophical, cultural-anthropological, psychological, ethnographic, socio-cultural and sociological, socio-economic and interdisciplinary approaches. Special attention is paid to the system approach that considers how mental characteristics are manifested. The paper presents the structural approach that focuses on individual continents of mentality and an approach to the study from the standpoint of the “level of the nature of mentality” (conceptual-semantic, values-and-target, and behavioral levels). The authors substantiate the necessity of using an interdisciplinary approach to the determination of mentality. This is due to the fact that this scientific category is widely used in different sciences (sociology, psychology, the humanities), which requires unified conceptual analytical methods. The authors reveal distinctive features according to which mentality can be classified; they include: 1) the level of analysis (individual, professional, social mentality); 2) territorial feature (urban/rural (provincial)); 3) the level of historical development (primitive/modern (civilized)). The following features are also highlighted as the criteria: the nature of manifestation (preliterate, literate and media-mentality); the degree of relationship to the world (sensuous/ideational); focus on the structural elements of mentality: on psychological characteristics (conscious/unconscious), normative characteristics, etc. It is shown that when mentality is considered through the prism of various traditions (research schools), then the attention is focused on its various components: thinking (American school), historical traditions (German school), sensuous component, social aspects of interaction between people (French school). The authors reveal the relation between mentality and the resulting behavior of people. This relationship can be characterized in terms of “whole–part” and “object–manifestation of the object”. In the former case there are “behavioral components” of mentality such as: 1) consumption patterns (prestige, demonstrative behavior, on the one hand, or the psychology of the subsistence minimum on the other); 2) the norms of interaction between economic entities (equality/inequality in the interaction); 3) generally accepted stereotypes of relations between society and the individual (self-sufficiency or collective nature of dealing with problems)


mentality; structure of mentality; stages of evolution of mentality; behavior

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