Questions tagged [psychology]

For questions relating to the thoughts and decision making processes of beings.

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72
votes
19answers
11k views

Could aliens colonize Earth without realizing humans are people too?

So aliens find Earth to be suitable for colonization and disregard humanity's claim. Not because they are racist, but because they are so different biologically and psychologically that humans simply ...
64
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25answers
13k views

Ensuring an endless war, and an endless stalemate

My 7 year old son and I have pitted the Elves against the Dwarfs - The Elves control the sky - they have airships, gliders in their cloths that enable gliding from airship to airship, and bridges ...
59
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33answers
11k views

How to Kill the Thought-Crime Killer

Joe Schmoe was six years old when he killed his best friend; it wasn't his fault, it was just the way that he was made... Joe was born with an auto-telepathic telekinetic feedback ability - he has ...
48
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19answers
18k views

How to conceal my immortality without hiding for a hundred years?

In my story, I have this character that cannot die and cannot grow old. She got this from a curse. When ordinary people see her, she probably looks like 20 or so. How can I make it so that nobody ...
45
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5answers
2k views

Creating convincingly alien viewpoints

Most aliens tend to be humans with bumpy foreheads and/or pointy ears. Even when they do have differences then usually it is an entire species being portrayed as a particular brand of human. For ...
43
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18answers
5k views

How to fulfill a wish without causing a lot of troubles

A week ago, I was walking through an old district of Prague and found an old lamp. I tried to clean it by rubbing it... And you guessed that correctly: A genie appeared saying: "I will fulfill you one ...
42
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5answers
4k views

Why does my species tock like it ticks?

Starting with a creature and its environment, how does one create its psychology? Evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology attempt to explain attributes that we observe in our fellow humans ...
41
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6answers
5k views

Will majority of population dismiss a video of fight between two supernatural beings?

This question is inspired by discussion in the comments of the question What kind of supernatural powers don't break the masquerade? TL;DR Suppose you want to create a world where beings with ...
40
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11answers
14k views

How would a human livestock facility run by aliens operate?

The older man looked at the younger one. He took a deep breath and began to tell his tale, just like he was told before when he himself was that young. I've been here way longer than you, let me ...
40
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15answers
10k views

What would convince people to solve disputes with a deadly card game?

Let's consider that the card game needs to be played, and equipment that may even kill you if you lose (via blades, electric shocks or the like, it could also even kill people by summoning ...
39
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18answers
8k views

The world is ending, how to convince/force chosen ones to come quietly?

The apocalypse has come - nuclear war+asteroid hitting+alien invasion+Skynet+vampires. Doesn't matter which, the world government/s knew this was coming (lets say, a year in advance) and they have a ...
38
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13answers
8k views

Scientific/biological basis of someone with unlimited willpower?

Meet Greg. Greg was born with pretty average genetics. It seems like he was destined to have average intelligence, average strength, and be average at everything. There was one particularly though: he ...
35
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20answers
9k views

Possible Long Term Effects of Frequent Teleportation

This is a follow-up to my previous question, based on one of the comments that was made. While the answers to the original make it quite reasonable that there will be no permanent effects manifested ...
34
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9answers
5k views

How would prolonged use of augmented-reality combat gear affect soldiers?

Consider a future soldier with access to the technological augmentation indicated below, and for whom it is reasonable to believe he would spend (while deployed) at least 18 hours a day attached to ...
34
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12answers
4k views

How would society be different in a sentient species that does not care for its young?

A lot of species on earth do not care for their offspring; they spawn thousands of eggs, that hatch into larvae, and then grow up towards full size. If a hypothetical species was sentient in the ...
33
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18answers
5k views

How can changes in personality/values of a person who turned into a vampire be explained?

Vampires don't die from old age; They aren't born, and all vampires were humans at some point in their life. After being bitten, a human can turn into a vampire (although the chance is very low, ...
31
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13answers
8k views

On a Speedster's perception of time and ability to function in civilian life

All right, I'm whipping up a speedster character. Figured if she's going to run real quick she'll have to think very quickly so that she doesn't end up as a smear against a wall. So, I did some ...
31
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13answers
3k views

How could names plausibly change over several generations of humans living in a space station on another planet?

I'm worldbuilding for a story in which a certain portion of the population relocates to a slightly habitable planet due to the complete inhabitability of Earth. It takes place several generations ...
30
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5answers
7k views

Does living without access to sunlight for extended periods have known physical or psychological effects on humans?

Humans (even programmers :-) ) are used to having some access to natural light, but in a colony in space, on the dark side of a tidally-locked planet, or underground (for example) this won't happen. ...
29
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19answers
10k views

Why do dragons like shiny stuff?

I like the classic trope of dragons loving gold and collecting it in their lair, yet it seems poorly justified. I know that it is often used as a metaphor for greed; "dragons disease" to show how ...
28
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16answers
4k views

Keeping Secrets in a Thought Reverberating Hall

My protagonist, let's call her Alice, must acquire a priceless artifact, located deep inside an ancient temple. If this were a ruin, the exercise would be academic, but the Temple was protected by ...
28
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4answers
4k views

How likely are Coriolis-effect-based quirks to develop in starship crew members?

This one's more sociological, and it seems like a shoe-in to me, but sociology was never my strength. Given how pronounced the Coriolis effect of a smaller Von Braun wheel would be, does it seem ...
27
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17answers
7k views

How can magic be used to drive someone insane - later

In my world, I have a form of magic that can be used by a practitioner to connect with a subject's mind at touch range, and effectively give an experienced, powerful practitioner total control over ...
26
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21answers
5k views

What kind of jewelry would be valuable in a world where anything can be produced?

A world I am working on has reached a sort of material production singularity. Recent innovations in space mining, artificial intelligence, teleportation, and 3D-printing have allowed for devices ...
26
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11answers
9k views

Male psychology in a matriarchy

I am developing a (magical) first-millenium CE alternate history based on an extension of historically matriarchal societies, and am trying to decide how this would affect the stereotypical male ...
25
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13answers
10k views

Seven Deadly Sins As Virtues? [closed]

A series I found when trawling TV Tropes had as a theme that the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Lust, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, and Wrath for the unfamiliar) could be virtues if controlled properly. ...
25
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14answers
6k views

What would drive people to risk death in the deep?

Dateline: 2067 Setting: A research base at the bottom of the Marianas Trench Depth: 10,000 meters. Mission Duration: Thirty days A research base lies at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, housing ...
25
votes
7answers
4k views

Intelligent Cats With A Serious Attitude Problem

Ligers tend to grow to near 1200 lbs (550 kg). As if that weren't bad enough, that mad tree-hugger xenobiologist, Deirdre Skye, grafted just enough human-derived genetic material to make them a heck ...
24
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12answers
7k views

How would a child with a thousand years of experience behave?

Here's one to ponder: what would an immortal eight-year-old be like after one thousand years? In most stories involving immortality, the immortals are fully formed adults. When those stories do ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Making the First contact

Visiting the Worldbuilding site plays with my creativity and imagination. So I am going to describe the dream I had: I am member of a different (alien) culture, from a different star system. Also, I ...
22
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17answers
7k views

How to defend against the “convince-me” ray gun?

A secret organization operating out of an undisclosed location for an undisclosed parent organizations have invented a "convince-me" ray gun (CMRG) that works by an unknown mechanism. After an idea ...
22
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8answers
2k views

How would really old people think or act?

A lot of fictional works contain people who are well over 100 years old, some 200, some 1000s of years old. The Emperor Of Mankind for example is over 10,000 years old. Colin from Highlander is over ...
19
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17answers
5k views

You need to disguise a manual as the diary of a madman. How?

Let's say you are creating secret instructions for a new, very dangerous weapon. You have decided to encrypt the instructions. But you do not want anyone to guess that these notes are encrypted! So ...
19
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15answers
5k views

Would 100-200 years be sufficient to “erase” past atrocities?

In the particular world that I am working on, I am attempting to build a "utopian" society. A major piece of this society is that, effectively, all historical atrocities have been "forgotten" by the ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Alien message: arrows and sequence order

This is part of my Alien Message series: Recognizable natural numbers for alien message? Alien message: “Invitation” I recall a TV show featuring a discussion on the design of warning messages for ...
19
votes
1answer
748 views

Difference between single-coin vs multi-coin currencies

In the real world — I am from Europe — I often hear and participate in discussions about how printing a paper 2 Euro note would have an impact on micro-economy, i.e. how it would make ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Are competitive sports an effective way to change my Spartiates' life perspective?

I am creating a world in which a society exists that is heavily inspired that ancient Sparta, specifically with a focus on Spartiates and their military education, the agoge. A character in the story ...
18
votes
12answers
4k views

Creating super soldiers by removing emotion (singular)

Futurestan, the nation that deals with its problems by shooting them into space, has a serious problem. You see, their economy is largely dependent on industrial processes that, among other things, ...
17
votes
17answers
5k views

Why would a fire dragon still be afraid of torches?

I can understand that all animals would instinctively stay away from a fire, however for a fire breathing dragon to be warded off by torches seem puzzling to me. What could help explain such ironic ...
17
votes
11answers
4k views

Could a predatory semi-sentient species survive, in the long run, without the emotion of fear?

I was thinking of an idea for an alien species in a hard sci-fi universe, and I wondered if a species, with the same amount of emotions as bottlenose dolphins (Except for fear), survive as a species. ...
17
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14answers
2k views

What can god(s) be afraid of? [closed]

People are afraid of (probably) everything you can think (animals, open spaces, closed spaces, death, and so on). Of course that not everyone is afraid of everything, but generally it is. But is ...
16
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5answers
1k views

Can a split personality itself have split personalities?

Let's say a person has/suffering from a split personality. And let's call this personality as A. My question is, Is it possible for this personality ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

Brutal, unsubtle brainwashing: how does it work?

The purpose of the machine was obvious from the elegant cruelty of its design: The seat restraints and the seat's solid, one-piece, gold-colored metal structure made it clear that whatever it did, ...
15
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19answers
4k views

Most effective method of creating fear? [closed]

Let's say a psychotic alien race come across the earth. They are technologically advanced, having near total control over matter at a molecular level, perfect understanding of biology in all its ...
14
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13answers
2k views

Why would people reject a god's purely beneficial blessing? [closed]

In my fantasy-medieval-with-magic world, after a great war between the gods that destroys the old gods, a new "one true god" is born. Out of a love for the people, and a desire not to change who those ...
14
votes
14answers
7k views

How would aliens test humans for empathy?

500,000 people have been kidnapped from all over the world by aliens. The aliens want to see if humans have empathy, and they can't understand our languages, as we speak they hear just random noises ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

What would be an execution method in a culture glorifying strength, power and fire?

I'm currently inventing a culture based on strength and power. They believe there's a fire in everybody that gives them life and power. They glorify warriors and strength. The culture lives in an ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

What if criminal behavior was “cured”?

Suppose technology becomes available that allows bad people to be "cured". Instead of going to prison for decades or being executed, for example, a murderer has his brain adjusted. Now cured, there is ...
14
votes
9answers
1k views

Rationalizing Villainy in Demons

I'm trying to create demons that aren't just raging murderers, as much as they're enslaved to their disposition they're not completely conquered by it, with a sense of humanity and reason crawling ...
14
votes
5answers
476 views

What are some possible reasons for people not taking long journeys to “other lands”?

If you've read Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, you might get the reference. In that story, the protagonists, after fulfilling their duty, decide to journey over a large mountain chain to explore the ...