A mental map is a first-person perspective of an area that an individual possesses. This is a type of subconscious map that shows the individual what places look like and how to interact with them.
Every individual has their own mental map, a large and a small one, wherein the former is used to recall towns, states, and countries; while the latter is to navigate smaller areas like your home, or the way to your favorite cafe. We subconsciously use our mental maps to plan all of our activities.
There is a division in psychology that looks at human and animal behavior, that division is called behaviorism. This theory assumes that every single behavior done is a response to environmental stimuli.
With this understanding, behavioral geography is seeking to understand how people build, how they change, and how the landscapes, in particular, affect and influence the behavior of both humans and animals.
Since mental maps can be created for places you've never been to for social media, news outlets, and even movies are able to depict faraway places for people to vividly create their own mental maps of them.
However, most media representations of these places are not entirely accurate and will only cause the formation of distorted or error-filled mental maps. Such in the case of the map we've all grown to see, the Mercator's map, wherein for centuries it has depicted the size of Africa wrongly.
As humans, we often subconsciously attach emotion to the mental maps we've created along with the infromation that we've come to know, whether it may be accurate or not, this significantly alter's one's perception.
We must keep in mind that we shouldn't fully trust the infromation that is delivered to us. This is a deplorable issue that is never to be taken lightly like biased crime statistics, because regardless of where it may be from, it has enough power to influence over someone's choices.