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I'm creating this character that has the ability to replicate herself. Her power works like this:

She can make a perfect copy of herself, which means that even her memories, thoughts and feelings are exactly the same in the exact moment that the copy is made. It is the same person. The clone disappears when it touches the original. When this happens, it actually merges with her. Everything that has happened with the clone in that period of time feels as if it happened to the original. As if she was in two places at the same time.

So, if it's a Friday, she can hang out with her friends and catch a movie in the same evening. Once both versions get home, they touch, sync, and she has the memories of both the events.

Notice that the clone isn't killed. It does not feel any pain and it also has the exact mind set of the original, so if the objective was to hang out at two places and have both memories, it wants to merge at the end of the evening - 'cause it is in its best interest to do it.

That being said, I would like to know if there's any psychological ground that states that this clone would rebel against the original, 'cause in my line of thought he is the original, he wants to sync. Because its been brought to my attention (by a psychologist friend) that there would be some conflict here that would eventually make a clone question its existence.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by sphennings, StephenG, Vincent, Aify, Secespitus Jul 22 '18 at 19:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ But which one is the clone? Both think they're the original $\endgroup$ – nzaman Jul 22 '18 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ Not only opinion based, but depends on the opinion of (each) clone. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Jul 22 '18 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ Primarily opinion-based has a different meaning on WB:SE than other SE sites. This is a good question as the answer is specifically scoped inside a psychological discussion, giving the OP the ability to judge which answer is best. BTW, Magus, I love the fact that the only way the clone can know he's the clone is the memory of which side of the room the "original" was standing on. The "original" is indistinguishable in all other memories. Spooky! $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 22 '18 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ In the 1000s of scifi books that deal exactly with this, the usual thinking is that, at the first moment they are identical, and then their personalities diverge over time. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Jul 22 '18 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "rebel against the original"? Does your fictional society put the originals in positions of authority over their clones, so that even the most perfect clones would desire to rebel against the unjust authority of the originals? If the society doesn't give the originals authority over their clones, the clones can't rebel against their originals, though they might rebel against the society as a whole if they feel it oppresses them. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Jul 23 '18 at 1:52
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The opposite of what Philipp says-- one copy has a terrible experience and wants to know that at least part of her is out there without the memory, continuing to live a good life.

With Multiple Man, if a clone didn't come back, he assumed that the other him died somehow, and he went out of his way to find out what happened. Often, he would send himself into situations where he knew he might die, because the rest of him would live on. Only problem is, if you're looking to get in a place, it's hard to learn from the experiences when you can't remerge. (But hey, that's what cameras are for...)

For added insurance (because he does want to live, after all) he'd have multiple copies of himself out there in different locations.

Also, if one of the clones gets sick--why join up until the sickness has run its course? And if one of them goes on an extended vacation for a year to return with their experiences, if they find they've contracted something that's a death sentence--or even a minor inconvenience over a lifetime, they might not merge.

If the clone falls in love with someone, and the original is already married. If they remain seperate, the clone might be able to have a relationship with the person they fell in love with AND have the original stay faithful to the person they married when they were one person. If they merge, they get the experience, and they will have cheated on someone they love, and will have betrayed them. Haven't you ever wanted to leave your life behind? And the only thing stopping you is hurting the people you love? If you knew there was another you back there, taking care of business, you might just do that. The unmerged clone might talk to the original to make sure that it doesn't happen over and over again. It might be enough to know that part of you is out there living a different adventure--if you came back together that would be a betrayal, but the original can honestly say they have never broken vows... And if two of them fall in love with different people... they merge and then seperate to marry both--that could happen as well...

Doesn't have to involve cheating--just a completely different life. They could all go off and study different things for years, and then come together again. Actually, this is an excellent way to pass a huge course-load, and get in extra studying...

Note--I call some the original, but that's just for differentiation--they all think they are original.

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Imagine what happens if the two clones make very different experiences while they are separated. One of them has the greatest day of her life, while the other is unfortunate and makes a deeply traumatizing experience.

At the end of the day, the traumatized clone will want to merge, hoping the happy memory will provide her with some comfort in this troubling time. But the happy clone doesn't want that bad memory to plague her, especially now where she is that happy. This generates a conflict of interest. There are two ways to resolve that conflict. Either the traumatized clone convinces the happy clone to merge, or they decide they won't merge and go their separate ways from now on.

When they decide to follow the latter course of action, happy clone might continue to live a happy life, while traumatized clone gets dragged further down by her emotional baggage. These different experiences will further drives them away psychologically. Traumatized clone will directly compare her life to happy clone. She will know that they are perfectly identical and the only reason why her life becomes worse and worse in comparison is because happy clone wasn't willing to share the burden of that traumatizing memory. This will cause the traumatized clone to develop a grudge against happy clone. This grudge might manifest in trying to merge with happy clone against her will. But considering that the experiences of traumatized clone only became worse, happy clone will be even less inclined to merge. In retaliation, traumatized clone might seek vengeance. Happy clone might come to the conclusion that the only way to be save from traumatized clone and her memories is to kill her first.

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The premises of your question contradict themselves. Either the clone wants to merge at the end of the evening or it wants to rebel. Furthermore I doubt that the answer to your question needs psychological grounds (as in: an explanation of the behavior relying on well tested psychological theories). If your intent is the creation of a relatable character, give her relatable motifs.

That being said I will reframe your question in the hope that it matches your original intent. What could motivate the clone to go from the intent of remerging to the intent of rebelling?

The answer is anxiety.

This evening some of these life-changing events happen: A very deep and touching conversation with a newly met soul-mate. Or an emotional catharsis that resolves long-lasting sorrows, fears or inhibitions. The clone feels like a new me. And she fears that this fundamental change is gone with the merge. Her core beliefs and her experience of being never deviated that much from the original and she does not know what will happen under these circumstances when merging. But she knows that she does not want to be the person she was before splitting up, not even in part. So she decides to run, fight or deceive her double, whatever matches her character the best.

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    $\begingroup$ The anxiety would be a novel trait, though, as the Original has no such anxiety about doubling herself and merging with her Other's experiences. Both the Original and the Other must know that reuniting does not cause the disappearance of experience and change in perception. Were I the Original and my Other felt anxiety about reuniting, I'd wonder at the effectiveness of the process. Questions like "is the Other really just me, or is id not now ids own individual person, distinct from me and having ids own rights as a separate sophont?" $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jul 22 '18 at 14:21
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It depends on the person, the task and if they know who's the clone.

Let's assume your cloner is in a midlife crisis/tough period in her life and needs a good pick-me-up. She's going out with some friends but also needs to do the laundry and clean the house... She clone's herself and puts the clone to the chores while she has fun (assuming she knows who's the clone). The original might not realize the impact it has on the clone until after the merger, as the clone might feel betrayed by herself and will go into a (worse) depression. It is likely that at some point in the clone's life it'll rebel by simply not doing what was asked and going to do something she does want, potentially at the cost of the original/herself after the merger.

This type of behaviour isnt unique to a clone, we already do things that dissapoint ourselves, like a woman on a diet who eats all the candy anyway. But the clone would have someone to actually dissappoint, and might try to avoid the consequences. IE avoid merging, which means running away from the original. It's unlikely this situation will persist unless the problems are deep psychological, but it could have long-lasting consequences for the original.

Actually you know what's both funny and sad? It's extremely likely the original will at some point come home, all tired and not want to cook. So she clone's herself and says "go cook". Then the clone gets angry as she doesnt want to cook either and expected to be the original and not have to cook. So she gets in a fight with herself... Her best course of action would be to change who gets to do the good stuff as if the clone does all the annoying stuff that part of her could always resent herself for it.

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    $\begingroup$ If it were me and the number of clones were unlimited, I would simply make a list with a dozen to-do items for cleaning the house and we would all clean. Would take less time that way. For laundry you gotta wait around, so I would do a drawing with each item PLUS blowing it all off and going out. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jul 23 '18 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ And for cooking too, you basically have different things to do...it's much more fun if you divide the work, and it's fair... $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jul 23 '18 at 3:34
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The problem you face is one that is already several thousand years old, and has never been successfully answered. The particular problem you are facing is most famously posed as the Ship of Theseus:

First, suppose that the famous ship sailed by the hero Theseus in a great battle has been kept in a harbour as a museum piece. As the years go by some of the wooden parts begin to rot and are replaced by new ones. After a century or so, all of the parts have been replaced. Is the "restored" ship still the same object as the original?

Second, suppose that each of the removed pieces were stored in a warehouse, and after the century, technology develops to cure their rotting and enable them to be put back together to make a ship. Is this "reconstructed" ship the original ship? And if so, is the restored ship in the harbour still the original ship too?

These issues plague all cloning science-fiction stories because they push the boundaries of what is meant by "self." What is an identity. Another famous one is a series of questions relating to teleporters, which is closer to your cloning scenario.

Humanity has invented a teleportation mechanism. You enter the machine, all the information about your body and mind is copied and sent via radio waves to the receiver. Let's say the receiver is on Mars. There, the receiver builds an exact duplicate of you, down to the tiniest detail. Once the copy is complete, a signal is sent back and the transmitter on Earth destroys the body on Earth. Now there is only one of you, and it is on Mars.

What happens if the "complete" signal is disrupted. Which body is "the real you?" The one on Earth or the one on Mars?

Now consider the case where there is a mixup. Your data is sent to both Mars and Venus. The body on Earth is destroyed. Which is the "real you?"

These questions don't have unassailable answers. However you answer them, I'll give you questions that make you ponder if the other one is the right answer. The concept of "self" simply gets muddy.

A real life example is the famous conjoined twins, Abby and Brittany. Are they one person or two? Officially, we treat them as two individuals, and I would be wary of the implications of declaring them to be one individual if they did not want to be treated as such. However, they show some fascinating behaviors that make one ponder. Technically Abby, as the left individual, has control over the right side of their conjoined body. However, if Brittany wants something on the left side, such as a shoe or a cookie, there is a curious tendency for the left side of the body to reach out and grab that shoe or cookie before Brittany has even asked Abby for it. Such behaviors are those we associate with "one individual." They're the behaviors we expect from a good surgical nurse, who appears to predict what the surgeon will need even before they ask for it. These are behaviors which leave us pondering whether our simple concept of "self" is good enough to describe these complicated situations.

So the reality is that this is more complicated, and there are no easy answers. In theory, the clone might focus on some "we are one" definition of self where all individuals with the same traits are treated as one. Or they might not.

There is one thing I'd poke at, which is the idea that the cloning is perfect. It must, by necessity, be imperfect. The position of the clone when it is "created" must be different than the original's position. It will be impossible to create two individuals with precisely the same physical location. So there will be differences. The question is merely whether or not those differences are enough to cause the clone to act differently than our naive sense of "self" would suggest it behaves.

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Personality evolves over time

Both of them will have exactly the same thoughts and desires (including the desire of recombining again) only in the exact moment of the duplication. From there, the most time both spend separeted, the most different experiences they obtain, and the most different thoughts, sensations and desires they will experiment. If they are separated enough time, they could eventually arrive at some point where once of them will feel radically different to the other twin, and even the desire to recombine will not be the same than the other half.

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