Social illusions are a complex, a whole system of not always adequate representations of a person within society and society as a unit, about himself, about his citizens (if we are talking about society), and the relationship - society with each person, and a person with society. In addition, social illusions are social, formed under external influences (the situation in the world, social inequalities, etc.), the perception of a person in particular and society as a whole, opinions about the subjects of other societies and cultures.
Most often, an opinion based on fantastic (areal, erroneous) ideas and beliefs, to which overestimated or underestimated assessments of a person's own status, or society and their role in the history of mankind in general, are often mixed. A striking example of a social illusion is the "ghost of communism" that wandered around Europe for many years, and only in the minds of people who supported this political orientation. At the same time, Europe remained in reality free from the "ghost".
The basis of the illusory representation is incomplete (taken out of context), distorted (deliberately or latently) information, mixed with fictions and falsifications, information about historical events, facts, the real state of affairs in countries, and their socio-economic and political state, development trends ( the "decaying" West for a long time remained a social illusion of the Soviet people).
Scientists and practicing psychologists consider social illusions to be one of the most powerful factors in the social mobilization of society, an instrument of the population's fictitious mood. They find the explanation for this in the power of the simplicity of the images created, the possibility of saturating them with symbols and metaphors, which has always impressed most of the people (inversely depending on the level of education and intelligence). The difference between rational and clear constructions of real arguments, expert assessments, and the creation of social illusions lies precisely in the ease of perception by society of more accessible and digestible allegories implanted with the help of the media and agitators.
The mass consciousness perceives illusory symbols with great excitement than its own attempts to analyze reality, therefore they are more and more often used to "form" public consciousness and motivate the direction of mass consciousness, easily and simply replacing reality with social illusions.
It is easy to form illusions, it is enough just to embody the configurations and images of the collective latent and unconscious (mythological plots, biblical truths, archetypes, ghostly symbols) of imagination into concrete real historical events. All over the world, in various historical periods, they are created by the dominant ideology. After that, with the help of propaganda, all these symbols begin to be replicated and broadcast in the mass media.
And they continue to use it for substandard manipulation of public opinion, use it for the purposes and interests of a specific social elite currently in power, or forces that in a given time period achieve a dominant position and total control over public consciousness.
The result of such manipulation of public consciousness is a situation in which the real perception of reality becomes impossible. A number of patterns arising from manipulations lead to this, among the most significant of them psychologists attribute elements of uncritical perception by society of imposed social illusions, conscious (and subconscious) ignoring of the patterns of development of historical phenomena and insufficient attention on the part of each person to the real problems of social theory and analytical calculations.
Additional arguments for the harm of social illusion include political control and ideological censorship in the media, insufficient competence of social expertise, artificial isolation and limitations created for external and internal social communication. All these parameters of manipulation are directly dependent on political myths, religions, national ideologies, and, in the end, pose a threat to the socio-economic well-being of any country.
The social illusory outlook on life, the more widespread among the masses, is far from harmless, unlike funny optical pictures. A social collapse of consciousness arises, since social illusions, especially those artificially implanted, lead to spiritual disappointment and devastation, apology of opinions is replaced by violent criticism, and true and pure faith gives way to sad, and sometimes even malicious skepticism.
As soon as a person in particular and society as a whole begin to realize the illusoryness and unattainability in reality of previously such understandable goals, the entire utopia and contradictions of reality, the isolation of concepts from reality, a change in the social climate occurs. And, as a result, there is either massive alcoholism or fanatical departure to religion. In any case, social illusions are always replaced by sobering up, a reassessment of values, and the search for a new ideal - that is, social illusions in society - is a constant phenomenon, reminiscent of a spiral cycle.
The natural causes of social illusions about an individual are biological, psychological, and directly social. But, this division is practically the only factor in which psychologists from all over the world who work in this field converge. The real mechanism of the emergence of social illusions in society, as well as the factors influencing their development, are poorly studied by psychologists, and scientists have many theories on this score.
Most of the theories lie in the field of psychology, but some of them capture philosophical postulates and economic elements. Studying social illusions, one cannot ignore such factors as age and gender characteristics of a person's character, personal characteristics and level of knowledge, the degree of upbringing and education. Attitudes (stable tendencies towards a specific form of behavior in a certain situation), social attitudes, value orientations acquired in the family, and paradoxes of genetic influence play a significant role in the perception of the social world.
Psychologists consider the main factors to be attitudes, personal paradoxes, social attitudes and human needs for personal value orientations. Of course, one cannot deny the great influence of stereotypes, rumors, the emotional state of each person and the general economic situation in the country when creating social illusions. These concepts are very close, since regardless of their initial orientation, they indirectly explain the direct connection between the personality, the living environment and the social illusory perception of reality.
Society and the peculiarities of a person's inner world, his upbringing, are inextricably linked and intertwined during not only a person's life, but also a certain political and economic period of time. Therefore, sociologists, political scientists and psychologists confidently determine the influence of social status, society, paradoxical views on the emergence and development of social illusions.
Many scientists around the world describe cases of mass hysterical phenomena, linking their appearance with a special variant of the manifestation of social illusions. There are known cases of mass hysterics that occur both in individual villages and cities, and in countries. At the heart of mass hysteria is a specific social illusion, caused in each case by certain real phenomena, mistakenly perceived by society, and unexpectedly interpreted by a large number of people in the same way. An exact definition of the mechanism of this phenomenon also does not exist, although it is clearly at the junction of psychology, faith and the internal culture of individuals at the epicenter of the event.
Over the centuries of its development, each nation acquires a certain paradoxical styles of perception, situations, processes that form "people's" social illusions, characteristic only of this people, the main role in them belongs to the unconscious instincts of emotions, national traditions, and the mentality of the people (for example, N.A. Berdyaev argued that the main characteristic of the Russian national consciousness is precisely paradoxicality).
In principle, social illusions arise as a result of the fact that a person is constantly in society, and, accordingly, cannot abstract from thoughts about how society works, about its foundations and development. And, as a result, under the influence of his own perception of society, a person begins to form his own idea of the strata of the population, classes and groups that make up this society. Thus, a thin thread emerges from which a large ball of social illusion unwinds.
Most often, social illusions arise among people who, due to their duty, profession have to deal with the structure and development of society in general and of a person in particular, this applies to politicians, political strategists, marketers, media workers and social workers. In general, all those who are not only the creators of social illusions, but also their main players. It is to them that the dubious "honor" belongs to the formation of an illusory perception by the broad masses of real events.
In connection with this need, they acquire relevant knowledge and experience, which helps them to distinguish different groups of the electorate so that the effect of achieving goals is as high as possible (for example, consumer groups, social, gender). However, scientists and psychologists have long proved that while forming an illusory perception of society, they themselves are at the mercy of social illusions, since they see society not as it exists in reality, but as it appears in their personal perception, depending on their party or professional supplies.