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Pokemon Headcanon: Psychic Type Analysis

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by , 6th February 2014 at 05:20 PM (402 Views)
Okay, now I'm going to talk about Psychic types, which are actually fairly common according to the statistics on the wiki. A Psychic type can be defined as a Pokemon that has adapted to use psychic abilities to attack and defend. Simple, right? Well, that leads me into an explanation of what exactly defines the term "psychic powers".

"Psychic" is a very vague term in fiction, and can stand for a number of abilities, not all of which are displayed by any given fictional character. Do they see the future, do they move things, do they read minds, do they have a sixth sense? All can be classified as "psychic". To help break it down, let's go with the definitions created by those individuals that believe in psychic powers. Even if you don't believe it, this information helps with understanding, can help elaborate fiction, and besides that doing your research shows effort and care.

Imagine a chart. All the phenomenon can first be put under a big heading of "Psychic". Under that heading then come two large sub-headings. These are ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) and PK (Psychokenesis). All psychic powers fall under these two categories. ESP involves gaining information that is not normally gotten through the five senses, or if that information is interpreted through one of the senses, it could not be gotten from the immediate environment.

Examples of ESP include precognition, seeing things happening before they happen. Or there's clairvoyance (French for clear seeing), the seeing of visions of real things that aren't right in front of your eyes. Of course clairvoyance is not as simple as you think. Clairvoyance is the transmission of information you shouldn't have, information that is interpreted through sight, and only sight. Clairvoyance means no sound, no smell, no touch, nothing but pictures. So if your vision has two people talking and you want to know what, learn to read lips. Compare this to its cousin, clairaudience (French for clear hearing), which is the same but for the sense of hearing and only hearing. Reading the mind also counts under here. Sensing things also fits here.

PK involves using your mind to effect the world around you. This includes the most obvious, telekinesis. Examples of telekinesis from fiction include the Gym Leader Sabrina, her father, or Matilda from the movie of the same name. Matilda was gifted with incredibly strong telekinesis, and considering how many objects she could make move at once during that dancing scene, is a natural at multitasking. Other varieties of PK from fiction include characters like Volcana from Superman the animated series, a psychic girl gifted with pyrokenesis, the ability to start and control fire with the mind.

One way to view the conceptual difference between the two is, according to a book I have, viewing them like two pieces of radio equipment. ESP is a radio receiver, able to pick up signals from the outside world, but not send out. PK is like a radio transmitter, able to send signals out to shake up the world, but not bring in. According to people that believe it, a person can be possessed of forms of ESP, PK, or both. Still, the categorization makes things easier to understand.

Considering the nature of psychic attacks, Psychic types possess the capacity for both, but are more developed in the PK category. However certain species, like Natu and Xatu, and part Psychic types like Delphox are more adept at using ESP to their advantage. And because they have such well developed powers, the brains of Psychic types are probably different. Psychic types are probably possessed of an above average intelligence too. Not that Pokemon are stupid, they aren't. But with such brain changes, I am saying that the average IQ for the whole type might be a bit higher than the averages for the other types.

The sort of brain differences we'd be talking would be in the frontal lobe, at the front of the brain. I say that because, as the front of the brain, it's responsible for all complex and higher-level tasks, like memory, thought, personality, emotion, judgement, etc. Generally as one moves from the front of the brain to the brain stem in the back, the functions controlled by the corresponding parts of the brain become more basic. Since psychic powers involve conscious effort, it is very likely that the mechanisms that control them are in the front. So that means their frontal lobes either have structural differences in the standard parts, or it possesses parts that are entirely unique for the type.

If that is true, there could be some negative consequences to their powers. Pokemon are supposed to change in body and mind when they evolve. A change in personality doesn't seem out of place. But Pokemon also grow in strength. For a Psychic type, that could mean changes in their brain. This means that the type may be more vulnerable to mental disorders strongly rooted in brain chemistry/structure, or may be more vulnerable to having such problems when they evolve.

They would be more likely to need therapy (which exists in the anime, so Pokemon must need psychiatrists as much as we do). Sharp blows to the head would be more serious, because any potential brain damage would have more serious consequences for a creature that uses it's mind to survive. Concussions would probably prevent a Psychic type from using their powers, and carry risks of long term damage. Substances that effect neuro-chemistry would have more serious effects on them.

If you don't think their brains change when they evolve, consider Psyduck and Golduck. They are water types, but technically should be part Psychic. Psyduck constantly has a headache and usually can't use Psychic powers unless the pain is bad enough. But Golduck has no such pain, and can use Psychic powers at will. Why?

Considering one form has constant head pain, but no control over psychic powers, and the next form has no pain but control over the same powers, then the head pain therefore can be reasonably linked to those powers. Having pain means not having control. When the pain goes, control is gained. It is quite possible that the pain Psyduck constantly feels is a form of growing pains. It's brain is trying to mature and change, and that process causes pain or creates unpleasant pressure inside the skull. This lack of maturity is why Psyduck can't really gain willful control over its abilities, and the pain makes it hard to focus anyway. Maturity must happen upon evolution, because Golduck has no such problems. Something must have changed.

Psychic types also seem to be frailer than other types, not very strong or able to withstand much damage. This idea is supported by game stats. According to the wiki, the average HP for Psychic types is low when compared to other types. The same is true of Defense, the stat that reduces damage from physical blows. These are creatures that have neglected strength of body in favor of strength of mind, or strengthened their minds in response to a weakness of the body. They do not have strong constitutions nor great physical endurance, much like your typical magic-user in an RPG. Psychic types use their powers to keep enemies from ever hurting them, using shields or moves like Disable.

They resist other Psychic type attacks because they are made to withstand the kinds of things they dish out. Their resistance to Fighting types is based on a technicality. With their ability to paralyze or disorient enemies, or attack from a distance, they are able to stop Fighting types from ever getting close enough to make contact. So it's not that the attacks don't effect them, it's that the attacks never reach them. However, should a Fighting type actually make contact, it will do serious damage, even more so to frail Psychic types. This idea was also suggested by TV Tropes, and it makes sense.

Their weakness to Ghost types could be explained by the strange nature of Ghost types, making them hard to control or stun. Dark types are, in my view, also highly intelligent, and have mental abilities that allow them to resist Psychic attacks, which then gives them the chance to hit their opponent. As for the Bug type resistance, that always seemed strange to me. I mean I know they needed weaknesses but how do you explain it through real world logic?

My best guess is that there is a difference in the brain structure of Bug types as opposed to the typical Pokemon. It's enough of a difference that it throws off the Psychic type. I imagine that when they invade the minds of enemies, they have a general sense of where to go to do what they want, based on experience. Motor controls are usually over there, consciousness is that way, that sort of thing. Brain structures follow the same basic blueprint, so it's not hard to find where they want to go. Bug type brains must be different so a Psychic finds it harder to hurt them. Or maybe Bug type brains are structured so that they flat out block Psychic manipulation rather than just disorienting the Psychic.

That's it. Tell me what you all think.

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Updated 6th February 2014 at 05:26 PM by reynard



  1. hakiobo's Avatar
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    what about their super effectiveness on poison?


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