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crab mentality

A negative, selfish mentality characterized by a preference for others not to get ahead of or do better than oneself. It alludes to a phenomenon of a group of crabs in a pot, in which an escaping crab is pulled back down by the others so that none escape in the end. She dreamt of going to college and beginning a better life, but her parents' and friends' crab mentality constantly discouraged her from leaving the sordid life in which they were entrenched.
See also: crab, mentality

siege mentality

The belief that one is constantly under attack and must protect oneself from hostility. Don't be surprised if Ned reacts to you with anger—he has a siege mentality that makes it difficult for him to see anything positively. Many people living in that war-torn country have developed a siege mentality.
See also: mentality, siege
References in periodicals archive ?
Moreover , Collignon never accounts for how a progressive institution like Henri Collomb's Dakar School of transcultural psychiatry could have emerged prior to decolonization, and he never addresses figures like the Surrealists, who found an "antidote to civilization" in so-called primitive mentalities.
Published during a period of relative German economic and social malaise in which Germans are once again comparing their own nation to the American model and seeking both to imitate and improve on it, Schmidt's monograph is an excellent synchronic and diachronic study of mentalities characterized by long duration.
Curry concludes his book with a sophisticated analysis of astrology's fortunes in terms of the history of mentalities.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first general textbook on the history of mentalities in preindustrial Europe.
What Spierenburg means by mentalities is the "world outlook and emotional life" of the era--in other words, both the prevailing cosmology and personality types.
Overall, therefore, this first effort at writing a textbook on the history of mentalities is a success.
This modification, that culture can determine social class, provides the foundation for a critique of the self-contradicting dichotomies historians such as Jacques Le Goff posit between exclusivist and inclusivist mentalities, between "class" mentalities and "unifying" mentalities.
It is telling though that the best Curry can do for a definition of mentalities is to follow a distinction first suggested by Marcel Proust between "ideas" and "idiom," the latter, as the substance of mentalities being, at once social, a of life, and intellectual, a set of ideas" (161).