Psychology Fiction

This page is concerned with fiction writings in which a general theme of the writing reflects an important concept in psychology.  These fiction writings that convey important concepts in psychology can be labeled psychology fiction.  Moreover, some of the fiction writings that are books could be labeled psychology fiction books or psychology novels.

Possible Functions of Psychology Fiction  

There may be a number of possible functions of presenting important concepts in psychology in fiction.  Research may be needed to address the validity of these ideas.

1.  The concreteness and detail of a story might make it easier to comprehend a concept.  The art of communication may reflect connecting the abstract with the concrete.  Ideas or concepts may become clearer when they are linked to specific information.

2.  A story may provide a context for ideas, which might make a concept seem more relevant or important.  A story may help us to discern situations in which a concept may apply.  We need to have a clear idea about how a concept may be beneficial and how it might explain important phenomenon.  A story may be helpful in making it clearer how the concept is beneficial or how it can explain important phenomenon.

3.   A story may help to make ideas more cogent.  Providing concreteness, detail, and context may make some concepts seem more convincing and valid.     

Psychology Fiction Books

Some of the fiction books that I would view as reflecting important concepts in psychology include Walden Two by B. F. Skinner, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Walden Two

In Skinner's novel,
Walden Two, there is a description of a community that can be viewed as utopian.  The utopian novel involves  a description of the good life.  The leaders of  the Walden Two community would promote acceptable behavior by use of positive reinforcement.  Positive reinforcement occurs when the likelihood of a certain behavior increases as a result of the presentation of something pleasant after the behavior.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

In Orwell's
Nineteen Eighty-Four, a government influences and restricts the thoughts that people have partly by reducing the words that they have in their vocabulary.  This is related to the linguistic relativity hypothesis.  The linguistic relativity hypothesis suggest that language determines what we think.  In this view, what words that we have in our vocabulary will determine what thoughts we may have.

Brave New World

Brave New World can be described as a dystopian novel involving indoctrination, conditioning, and a caste society.  In the second chapter of Brave New World, there is a description of a form of conditioning that appears to be classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a type of conditioning in which something (conditioned stimulus) that had not previously produced a particular response becomes associated with something (unconditioned stimulus) that produces the response. As a result, the conditioned stimulus will elicit the response that the unconditioned stimulus produces. In Chapter 2 of Brave New World, the classical conditioning results in an unpleasant reaction to books and flowers because of the association with electric shock and loud noise.