Is there a word that means "a way of thought"?

For example, whether someone is interested or not, it is simply how he thinks. Whether someone is confident or not, it is simply how he thinks. So "interest" and "confidence" are simply "ways of thinking".

I was thinking of the word "mental", however "mental" means "relating to the mind" which is too broad. For example, "tiredness" would be "relating to the mind", but it isn't a "way of thought".

What's another word to mean "a way of thought"?

  • 1
    Are you saying that in your scheme "a way of thought" is the same as "a way of thinking", or is it different? Do you count "mentally" as one or the other, or something else? – James Waldby - jwpat7 May 5 '12 at 6:52
  • 1
    'a philosophy'? – Mitch May 5 '12 at 15:35
  • @Mitch Surely we wouldn't categorize "interest" and "confidence" under "philosophy".. – Pacerier May 5 '12 at 16:27
  • It is unclear to me hat you mean then by 'way of thought'. A philosophy of life might be optimism, or selfishness, or the golden rule, or being unattached, and those are all 'ways of thought' to me. 'confidence' may be a little too specific to call it a 'way of thought', in fact it has very little thinking ivolved. 'Confidence' is more an 'affect' or 'personality trait' or 'disposition'. You need to be more explicit about your idea, more examples, to narrow down to single word version of 'way of thought'. – Mitch May 5 '12 at 16:50
  • A word that can categorize both "interest" and "confidence" would fit the bill.. – Pacerier May 6 '12 at 2:04

Would "mindset" fit the bill, or is that too passive a concept?

  • Btw do you think that personality (e.g. don't like to talk) can be classified under "mindset"? Or rather, is there a better word that encompasses concepts like "interest" / "confidence" / "personality"? – Pacerier May 5 '12 at 16:29
  • I found an alternative: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propositional_attitude – Pacerier May 16 '12 at 6:26

Perhaps you are looking for:

Frame of mind: mental attitude or outlook


I think you are looking for words like 'opinion', 'perspective', 'conception', 'assumption', 'presumption', inference', 'point-of-view' etc.


Weltanschauung is a germanic word with an English usage that correlates to this. It translates literally to "world view" but, as M-W defines, means "a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint."

That may be too broad for what you are looking for. You could also try "solipsistic" "characteristic" or "idiosyncratic."


The phrase "state of mind" describes what you're after.

  • The meaning doesn't map correctly. "tiredness" and "bad mood" are "states of mind", but they aren't a "way of thought". – Pacerier May 5 '12 at 5:35
  • Tiredness I'll give you but many therapists would argue the second one. In any case, I was going more by the description than by the title - "way of thought" doesn't really map correctly either. – Optimal Cynic May 5 '12 at 8:00

psycho-paths ;-) Just Kidding... I second the suggestion of using idiosyncratic. It suits your specifications considerably well.


I think another possibility is “attitude”, but most of the previous answers look good to me.

  • Is a "personality" considered a "mindset" or "attitude" ? – Pacerier May 6 '12 at 4:42

Mentality is defined as: a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations; the characteristic attitude of mind or way of thinking of a person or group; cast or turn of mind; a way of thinking; mental inclination or character.

You can say someone has, for example, a confident mentality or a victim mentality.


I've heard the use of adjective mind before.

To an Eastern mind, raised on Go, territory is more important than the soldiers used to capture it.

To those Western minds raised on Chess, protecting the nobles is the most important.

protected by tchrist Mar 1 '15 at 19:31

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