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From mental +‎ -ity. Doublet of mentalité.


  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ælɪti
  • IPA(key): /mɛnˈtæləti/, /mənˈtæləti/, /-ɪti/


mentality (plural mentalities)

  1. A mindset; a way of thinking; a set of beliefs.
    Before he can succeed, he will have to shed the mentality that he can get by without hard work.
    • 1999, Nicholas Walker, “The Reorientation of Critical Theory: Habermas”, in Simon Glemdinning, editor, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy[1], Routledge, →ISBN, page 489:
      [] with a mentality anchored in a profoundly influential and persistent hostility to central features of the Enlightment faith in the theoretical and practical autonomy of the human subject.
  2. The characteristics of a mind described as a system of distinctive structures and processes based in biology, language, or culture, etc.; a mental system.
    • 1978, Edward Proffitt, "Romanticism, Bicamerality, and the Evolution of the Brain", The Wordsworth Circle, Vol. 9, No.1, reprinted in Kuijsten, 2016, page 129.
      [] the new mentality [of Romantic poetry] a mentality of self-authorization.
    • 2016, Scott Greer, A Knowing Noos and a Slippery Psyche:Jaynes's Recipe for an Unnatural Theory of Consciousness, Kuijsten, page 239:
      Our mentality — whether bicameral or conscious — is thus more a function of social context, language, and forms of communication than a hard-wired neurologically-based system.

Derived terms[edit]



  • Kuijsten, Marcel (ed.). Gods, Voices and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes, Julian Jaynes Society, 2016 (312 pgs). →ISBN