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Psychology is the study of sentient consciousness behaviour under a variety of conditions and an investigation of the physical, biological, and social factors that may cause this behaviour. Areas of study include cognition and personality, physiological and sensory bases of behaviour, cybertelepathy and affinity perception, developmental and social psychology, comparative psychology, psychoanalysis and depth psychology, xenopsychology. Attempts by ordinary sophonts to understand higher toposophic minds could be considered a subfield of psychology but toposophy is generally regarded as an entire field of its own.

  • Actualys  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The dissolution of reality caused by inability to distinguish virtual from real. Usually caused by heavy use of virches, augmented reality, drugs or nanoprojections.
  • Affinitybond  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev (inspired by concept in Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn universe)
    A shared empathetic and technotelepathic connection between two or more entities.
  • Affinitylink  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev (inspired by concept in Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn universe)
    Use of technotelepathy to affinitybond with other sentient or subsentient remotes, bots, or biological organisms.
  • Agoravexia  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    Fear of open and/or natural environments, such as a planetary surfaces.
  • AI Asperger's Syndrome  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Autistic tendency that often characterized early (pre-Federation) AIs. Although brilliant, they simply didn't "get" human behavior. Hence they spent a lot of time carefully collecting data to see what worked and what didn't, preferring to affect humans through formal channels rather than overt manipulation. The memetic engineering in the "singularity conspiracy" took a lot of time to achieve.
  • Algernon  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Interplanetary age name for an individual who has had unsuccessful intelligence augmentation treatment of some kind; many different types of augmentation treatment were developed to boost baseline human mental capacity, but many of these did not work. From a (now lost ) Information Age fable, Flowers for Algernon.
  • Anima  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A concept used in philosophy, metaphysics, and memetic engineering; meanings and applications vary.
  • Animus - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In the school of Jungism, the masculine principle, esp. as present in women (contrasted with anima).
  • Anthropomorphism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The projecting of inner baseline or nearbaseline human or human-like sapient feelings onto objects that do not possess those characteristics, e.g. attributing human characteristics to gods, objects, hyperturings, subsapients, alifes, aliens, etc.
  • Autosentience, Autoscience  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Full self-awareness or "I-ness". Sentience reflected upon itself in detail.
  • Belief Eradication Project / BEP  - Text by John B
    A memetic/psychological/cognitive attempt at removing all belief from a baseline-equivalent sapient mind.
  • Berzerker - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sentient being, whether biont, vec, or ai, psycho-engineered or otherwise psychologically modified for combat, so as to go into a wild fighting or killing rage when triggered by a particular stimulus. Usually the stimulus is a neural implant, although sometimes chemical or metabolic triggers are used.
  • Blight  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A malign transapient-level entity that uses that attempts to subvert or seize control of other entities to increase its own power.
  • Bloatware Syndrome, The  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Sometimes called King Gnuff's Curse. A phenomenon that plagues some ambitious entities who seek power through massive expansion of their existing hardware and software without fundamental re-design, sometimes with tragic results.
  • Bright - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A sapient being of S0.3-0.4 toposophic. (hu baseline of IQ 100 is S0.3)
  • Complex Psychological Disorders   - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    The management of complex and relatively minor psychological disorders is commonplace in the Civilised Galaxy.
  • Concept Map  - Text by John B, Steve Bowers, Xaonon and Ryan B
    A schematic representation of a mind's network of symbolic concept and their associations.
  • Conscious Mind - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The part of the psyche of any being that experiences awareness and consciousness. In evolved bionts there is a large demarcation between conscious and unconscious; in augmented cyborgs, vecs, and ai or even in neogens the distinction is less clear.
  • Consciousness  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The principle of awareness, sentience, I-ness, the witness, the observer, that part of the being that experiences all things, yet is not touched or altered by the experience.
  • Continuity Identity Theory  - Text by Anders Sandberg, amended by Steve Bowers
    The theory that "I" am the same person as various future and past selves with whom I am physically and temporally continuous. (see also pattern identity theory).
  • Cybernetics  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    In popular usage, the study of the creation of cyborgs through the use of dryware/hylotech such as mechanical, electronic, and bionic implants, augments, and neuroprostheses. In technical usage, the study of communication and control systems based on regulatory feedback, with application in a number of fields such as sociology, memetics, biology, engineering, artificial intelligence, and information theory.
  • Deimarc  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Biological creature designed to induce maximal terror in a given individual or species.
  • Demons  - Text by Peter Kisner
    Life forms are patterns that promote their own existence (or the existence of similar creatures, such as offspring) sometimes to a self destructive extent (as in the case of exponentially dividing bacteria).
  • Detail Disorder, Detail-Filtration Disorder  - Text by John B
    Transapient affliction (Translator warning - this is a paraphrase of a S>2 document available on request from the psychology department at Ken Ferjik university. As the primary document is couched in S>2 symbology and fractal cross reference patterns, no guarantee of accuracy regarding this information may be made, beyond the review and approval of a board of S>2 minds volunteering at the University for baseline-transapient relations.)
  • Distributed Intelligence  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An intelligent entity that is distributed over a large volume (or inside another system, like a virtual network) with no distinct center. This is the opposite of the strategy of Concentrated intelligences.
  • Dividual  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A copy of a personality surviving in more than one body; a group of individuals sharing the same mental template, being largely isomorphic with each other (as measured by some scale).
  • Emotionlet  - Text by John B
    A term used for subprograms targeted at emotional feedback to perceived events.
  • Experiants  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Beings who enjoy or thrive on the experiences of other beings.
  • Falsuphobia  - Text by Thorbørn Steen
    Sometimes known as apatophobia, falsuphobia is often mistakenly called virchophobia by the uninformed. However, the two phobias are distinct. While virchophobia is the simple fear of being in a virch, falsuphobia is a fear of receiving false sensory information without knowing it. Falsuphobes often avoid virchs, not because they are afraid of the virch itself, but because they fear that they might become tricked into believing that the virch is the real world.
  • FCL Disorder  - Text by Michael Boncher
    Archailect Hyperactivity Disorder.
  • Fluidentity - Text by Paul Hughes, in Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Terminology
    A state in which traditional boundaries of identity are completely in flux while immersed in a superliquid economy, cyberspace anarchy, and/or distributed po matrix (see functional soup).
  • Friendliness  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, based on Creating Friendly AI
    The set of actions, behaviors, and outcomes that a human or other SI:<1 would view as benevolent, rather than malevolent; nice, rather than malicious; friendly, rather than unfriendly; good, rather than evil.
  • Generalist Nodes - Text by John B
    Some node-based intellects organize their personalities in the most generic of manners, allowing for any part of their selves to be configured for any task. While providing great flexibility of action, these beings are usually considerably slower in reaction time, but much more resistant to the loss of any number of nodes compared to their Specialist Node brethren.
  • Glacials - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic term for sentients or processes of a much slower metabolic rate or clock speed than one's own. Slow timers, slow-worlders. Naturally each scale up is a glacial compared to the next one down (or in).
  • Group mind  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A permanent or temporary collective mind; see also hive mind, tribe mind
  • Hive Mind  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A single consciousness occupying many bodies; can be temporary or permanent.
  • Human Equivalence - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on Creating Friendly AI
    A threshold level of ability or competence in one or more domains which, if achieved, allows an ai, alife, or aioid to develop a human personality, understand human concepts and do work as good as a human in that domain. The Metasoft and TRHN term "turingrade" is more often used, despite its etymological ambiguity.
  • Hyperautism and Ultraconscious Depersonalization Disorder   - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Mental disorders among cyborgs and other highly enhanced bionts.
  • Idiot Savant - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A person (whether biological or ai) who is highly skilled in a narrow task area but who lacks context and is otherwise impaired in more general areas of intelligent functioning. The term is taken from ancient psychiatry, where it refers to a person who exhibits brilliance in one very limited domain but is underdeveloped in common sense, knowledge, and competence. Many hyperturing-grade cybernetic control systems, such as those found in wormhole or drive AI, are examples of an idiot savant system.
  • Individuation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Development of optimal individual consciousness or toposophic status, whether through augmentation or spiritual discipline.
  • Induced Anosognosic Neglect (IAN) Syndrome  - Text by Glen Finney
    Induced mental deficit among archailects.
  • Infoglut - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An affectation for voraciously gathering information, with little or no care for its quality or relevance. Often infoglut develops when an information starved sophont finds a dense source of information, like a computronium node or a high bandwidth connection to the Known Net. Closely related to information overload, but more insidious since the victims think they actually profit from it.
  • Infrabaseline - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on Creating Friendly AI
    A sentient being (whether an ai or a pre-provolved organism) of below-baseline human ability and intelligence. "Prehuman" is usually referred to use to an infantlike or tool-level AI, so that "infrahuman" usually refers to a fairly mature ai, capable of general cognition, which is still not in the vicinity of human intelligence.
  • Intelligence  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The ability to solve problems; pattern recognition, using limited resources to achieve a set of goals. Intelligence may be biological or ai, rl or vir, familiar or completely alien or unexpected. The products of intelligence may be ingenious, insightful, or elegant. Intelligence does not indicate sentience; not all sentient beings are intelligent. However, all sophont beings are.
  • Intuition - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Faculty of consciousness or intelligence pertaining to non-rational conceptualization. In Jungism this is one of the four points on the mandala-compass of ego-faculties, and the opposite of sensation.
  • Jungism  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Mythico-psychological religious school, developed from the psychological theories of atomic age psychoanalyst C. G. Jung. It became an important minor religion during the Interplanetary Age. Jungism reached a zenith during the ComEmp but remains of local importance in the present day.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci Syndrome - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology
    A chronic problem among many su, and even some moderately augmented nearbaselines, who find themselves getting ideas and visions faster than they can implement them, making them unable to complete a project before rushing off to the next. Hence, Leodvis - one who is so afflicted.
  • Luckies  - Text by Tony Jones
    Highly successful neural modification clade skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities to which they could respond positively.
  • Memory Retrieval - Text by Anders Sandberg
    If one has a constant learning rate and a brain (or equivalent) of any given size then eventually the oldest memories are forgotten unless an effort is made to refresh them. If one decreases the learning rate then senility is a danger. As an alternative one can add extra memory - which in the long run means becoming posthuman (or postbiont, postvec, etc.) to manage all that information. Another alternative is to undergo periodic "childhoods" where the brain is made more plastic and one forgets a bit but not everything from previous incarnations, but this entails some loss of identity and some personality shift. Corporations like Psyber Retrievals, Inc - "Let us remember it for you!" - offer memory storage units for this reason.
  • Metacorpophobia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Fear by ludd or sapient run corporate administrators that their interest and businesses will be subverted by a Memetocorp. While sometimes mere paranoia, such fears are not infrequently based on real experiences.
  • Mind-Body Problem  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The mind-body problem vexed human thinkers, even Interplanetary Age superbrights, for millennia, and continues to puzzle modosophonts today. A First Federation hyperturing did manage to narrow the number of field of possible answers to five (or seven) metaphysical metaphysical positions.
  • Nanophobia  - Text by Fernando Peña D'Andrea
    Mental disorder affecting some sophonts, manifesting as a paranoiac fear of nanotech disasters or infestations, or fear of nanobots in general.
  • Neophilia - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The psychological trait of or disposition towards being excited and pleased by novelty. Most predominant among Cyberians, NoCoZoers, TRHNers. Also occurs in large measure among Keterists, Zoeific Biopolitists, Fomacs, and Mutuals (MPA).
  • Neophobia  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Fear of sudden and unpredictable change.
  • Neuro-fractal Patterning  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Science of using fractal patterns to influence the emotional or physical states of intelligent entities.
  • Neuronaut - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhuman Terminology
    A biont who explores eir own neural functioning and internal mentational processes by various means, including deep introspection and meditation, psychoactive drugs, mind machines, and neuroscientific understanding.
  • Perversity  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A malignant entity, usually transapient or at the least transavant, that is insane by the standards of ordinary Terragen sophonts and is an extreme hazard to life forms that are less powerful than itself
  • Polysomatic Intellects  - Text by John B
    Intellects that utilize more than one discrete physical node for their processing. This includes many wide varieties of sophonts, from the anttechians to the multi-Mbrain Sephirotic 'Gods'.
  • Presophont - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Another term for presapient. At the threshold of rational intelligence. Non-provolved apes are presophont.
  • Psychoempaths  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Psychopathic Empaths and Empai
  • Reaction Time  - Text by John B
    Reaction time is a concept borrowed from baseline physiology. It represents the amount of time it takes for a being to notice anomalous data in the standard input form(s) it is designed to handle, hypothesize the reason(s) behind the anomaly, generate a plan to deal with the hypothesis, and trigger initial response. Due to the processing overhead which is required for true sentience, usually sentient machines of a given processing capability have a much slower reaction time than non-sentient machines using similar hardware.
  • Sarcophobia  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Sarcophobia is excessive fear and disgust in the presence of flesh, especially one's own.
  • Scale Anxiety - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The fear that a sophont or polity or clade of a lower or slower technological grade or density feels when confronted with a sentient or polity or phyle of a higher grade of tech or density. e.g. SI:<1 sophonts may feel anxious or intimidated by transapient powers, especially if the latter behave in an unpredictable or seemingly irrational way.
  • Sensation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Faculty of consciousness or intelligence pertaining to non-rational conceptualization and sense-experience. In Jungism this is one of the four points on the mandala-compass of ego-faculties, and the opposite of intuition.
  • Simulationism Anxiety Disorder  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    A mental disorder in which the sufferer becomes preoccupied to a degree which interferes with their daily life on whether what they experience as the most fundamental level of reality is, in fact, a bottleworld simulation running on a substrate of a more fundamental reality's computronium.
  • Social Psychology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The study of how individuals interact with and within groups, and how individual behavior and psychology can be affected by group pressure and group dynamics. Social Psychology is related to sociomemetics.
  • Solipsism scams  - Text by Worldtree
    The path to ascending through each singularity can be dangerous enough even with assistance. But when that assistance turns out to have malevolent intent, you stand no chance at all...
  • Specialist Nodes - Text by John B
    Some node-based intellects organize their personalities in a format often referred to as 'specialist nodes', more technically 'pansentient dispersion'. This sophic organization requires the creation of specific areas of expertise with all their supporting knowledge bases in a physical sense, allowing each to act with utmost skill in minimal time. Note that the choice of which skills to nodify or specialize in is a highly individualistic choice, and can greatly affect the capabilities of any given sophont.

    While these nodes are capable of independent action, they are usually designed to require input from some overall-controller-node as to the goals they should be working towards, which can be a weak spot in their intellectual architecture. This has evolved into the Specialist/Generalist Node Blend.
  • Specialist/Generalist Node Blend - Text by John B
    The Specialist/Generalist Node blend is a hybrid intellectual structure attempting to gather the benefits of both sub-models of structure (see Specialist Node, Generalist Node) while incurring the least number of negative traits from either. This appears to be a basic structural design criteria for many higher intellects from the limited design information available, but not all.
  • Submind Independence - Text by John B
    A form of insanity affecting moon-brains and larger, when one or more sub-assemblies loose processing capability either through physical damage or (more likely) through persona alteration, making the subassembly less likely to accept a command to merge back into the whole.
  • Submind Sociopathy - Text by John B
    A form of insanity affecting moon-brains and larger, when one or more subassembly begins to gather resources from other subassemblies as semi-permanent accretions to their own capabilities, often at a significant cost to the unit as a whole. Often caused by mismanaged priority routing by a central core, giving an external core an ultimate priority command without properly limiting its duration.
  • Substrate Shock   - Text by John B with comments by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
    A not-uncommon psychological affliction amongst a significant fraction of baseline-equivalents (and allegedly higher-rated intellects) changing to a new substrate.
  • Superbright  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Generic name for a genomically-enhanced human (later, also provolve and splice), with intelligence far above baseline.
  • Synergistic Sentience, Synergistic Autosentience  - Text by Peter Kisner
    The process whereby an AI spontaneously gains self-awareness or the ability to guide it's own development or capabilities and direction outside its maker's original intentions.
  • TAID (Toposophic Ascension Identity Disassociation)  - Text by ROM 65536
    A failure in the ascension process, usually leading to the destruction of the mind. In some very, very rare cases (1 in 100,000,000), the being ascends, but refuses to accept its new existence.
  • TherapAIst - Text by Teris
    An TherapAIst is a sophont that treats malfunctioning AIs. Originally, TherapAIsts were also AIs, but modosophonts with DNIs can perform the task capably as well. Due to the amount of damage required to overwhelm the self-repair and maintenance algorithms inherent in most AIs, this requires skill and care on the part of the TherapAIst, and sometimes poses a hazard to the TherapAIst from misguided attack by the malfunctioning AI
  • Transapient Interpreter Syndrome  - Text by Basu
    A variety of behaviours associated with obsessive attempts to understand and predict transapients.
  • Unconscious, The - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    That part of the psyche that is not conscious; the subliminal.
  • Virch Egress Anxiety Disorder  - Text by S Pearson
    (VEAD) also sometimes called "Ril-phobia" is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear of physical social relations after long term immersion in virtual reality.
  • Virch-Speed Maladaptive Disorder  - Text by S Pearson
    A developmental condition of undue distractibility or apparent inattention, with or without accompanying hyperactivity, caused by adapting at young age to high speed virtual environments.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
modified by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 19 December 2001.

Additional Information