The “Mutual Construction” of Society and Individual in the Formation Process of Social Mentality

  • Ying Wu
  • Yiyin Yang
Part of the Research Series on the Chinese Dream and China’s Development Path book series (RSCDCDP)


The concept of social mentality refers to a macroscopic social mood, including emotional tones as well as social consensuses and social values, diffused through the whole society or through social groups. It is homogeneous but not equal to the simple sum of individual mentalities in society (Yang 2006). In this sense, the study of social mentality is neither about the individual psychological mechanism nor is it about pure macroscopic social facts, but rather about exploring the process of the mutual construction of individual mentality and society. In previous mainstream studies, social psychology was understood as a “behavioral science”. These studies focus more on how individual behaviors are influenced by the environment, seldom considering possible co-variations of the environment and the individual and ignoring the “social science” property of social psychology (Moscovici 2011). Such a perspective emphasizing the individual is not suitable for the study of social psychology. Actually this individualized perspective has been questioned by social psychologists and continuously revised in respective fields.


Chinese-Language Sources

  1. Guan, J. (2009). The origin and development of social representation theory—Interpretation of social representations: Explorations in social psychology of Serge Moscovici. Sociological Research, 4, 228–242.Google Scholar
  2. Guan, J., & Yue, G. A. (2007). The theory of the social representations and its development. Journal of Nanjing Normal University (Social Science), (5), 92–98.Google Scholar
  3. Moscovici, S. (2011). Social representations. (J. Guan, et al., Trans.). Beijing: China Renmin University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Wu, Y. (2011). The process of the construction of group stigma consciousness: A qualitative research about “being discriminated” of rural migrant children. Youth Studies, 4, 16–28.Google Scholar
  5. Yang, Y. Y. (2006). Psychic relation between individual and macro-society: Definition of social mentality. Sociological Studies, 4, 117–131.Google Scholar

English-Language Sources

  1. Echterhoff, G., Higgins, E. T., & Groll, S. (2005). Audience-tuning effects on memory: The role of shared reality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 257–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Echterhoff, G., Higgins, T., Levine, J. M. (2009). Shared reality: Experiencing commonality with others’ inner states about the world. Psychological Science, 4(5), 496–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Higgins, E. T. (1992). Achieving “shared reality” in the communication game: A social action that creation meaning. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 11, 107–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Higgins, E. T., Echterhoff, G., Crespillo, R., & Kopietz, R. (2007). Effects of communication on social knowledge: Sharing reality with individual vs. group audiences. Japanese Psychological Research, 49, 89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Huntsinger, J. R., & Sinclair, S. (2010). When it feels right, go with it: Affective regulation of Affiliative social tuning. Social Cognition, 28(3), 290–305.Google Scholar
  6. Kashima, Y., Kashima, E. S., Bain, P., Lyons, A., Tindale, R. S., Robins, C., et al. (2010). Communication and essentialism: Grounding the shared reality of a social category. Social Cognition, 28(3), 306–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kopietz, R., Hellmann, J. H., Higgins, E. T., & Echterhoff, G. (2010). Shared-reality effects on memory: Communicating to fulfill epistemic needs. Social Cognition, 28(3), 353–378.Google Scholar
  8. Ledgerwood, A., & Liviatan, I. (2010). The price of a shared vision: Group identity goals and the social creation of value. Social Cognition, 28(3), 401–421.Google Scholar
  9. Magee, W. M., & Hardin, C. D. (2010). In defense of religion: Shared reality moderates the unconscious threat of evolution”. Social Cognition, 28(3), 379–400.Google Scholar
  10. Mannetti, L., Levine, J. M., & Pierro, A. (2010). Group reaction to defection: The impact of shared reality. Social Cognition, 3, 447–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Moscovici, S. (1988). Notes towards a description of social representations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18(3), 211–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moscovici, S., & Vignaux, G. (2000). The concept of themata. In S. Moscovici (Ed.), Social representations: Explorations in social psychology. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  13. Pinel, E. C., Long, A. E., & Crimin, L. A. (2010). I-sharing and a classic conformity paradigm. Social Cognition, 28(3), 277–289.Google Scholar
  14. Wan, C., & Chiu, C. Y. (2009). An intersubjective consensus approach to culture: The role of intersubjective norms versus cultural self in cultural processes. In R. S. Wyer, C. Y. Chiu, Y. Y. Hong (Eds.), Understanding culture: Theory, research, and application. New York, London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  15. Wan, C., Chiu, C., Tam, K., Lee, V. S., Lau, I. Y., & Peng, S. (2007). Perceived cultural importance and actual self-importance of values in cultural identification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 337–354.Google Scholar
  16. Wan, C., Tam, K. P., Chiu, C. Y. (2010). Intersubjective cultural representations predicting behaviour: The case of political culture and voting. Asia Journal of Social Psychology, 13, 260–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Social Sciences Academic Press 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Wu
    • 1
  • Yiyin Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.BeijingChina

Personalised recommendations