: the science or study of the mind and behavior
: the way a person or group thinks
Psychology, the science or study of the mind, fits nicely into our little science into science fiction theme. In fact, if we look at the secondary basic definition of Psychology, we can see how an author might look at developing a character or an entire species of characters. What a new found alien might be thinking about humans or what the reaction of the species itself might be.
The movie Avatar just popped into my head as I wrote that. A great example of how one battered, worn down member of one species find solace in the company of new beings. And while an individual alien takes to the human, the rest of the species is suspect, and rightfully so.
Some of the more interesting science fiction tales have combined both the science of psychology with the “group think” mentality. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where kindred folks all bound together by seemingly unconnected circumstances, end up facing their fears and being rewarded with kindness from the new beings. There is a certain vibe or chill that movie gives me every time I watch.
When you are developing a new character, how much thought do you give to the development of their individual psychology? Do you leave a piece of yourself in that character? Or do you maybe take your own life experiences and project them onto your new species?