Rungian Psychology (A Psychology Major Analyzes Transformers)

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Longitudinalwave, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    Besides being a Transformers fan, I am also a psychology major. Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to create a thread that discusses Transformers and their mental illnesses. If you want to ask me for an analysis of a particular Transformer (or provide your own analysis of one), please post it here. Thanks to Primeultra for inspiring this thread.
    This post is largely copied from a post in the "Season 3 Rodimus Thread".
    And now to imitate Rung! :)  I am not a licensed psychologist, so take the following with a grain of salt. If you know something about the discipline, please call me out on any mistakes I may have made.

    Going by the DSM-5, I would say that Red Alert's episode in "Auto Berserk" was some sort of psychotic episode, caused by a medical condition (specifically, being caught in an explosion and trapped under rubble). If it had lasted for a month or more, it would probably have been best described as Delusional Disorder, as he had no apparent hallucinations. More specifically, he appeared to have delusions of persecution (he believed that the Autobots were planning to disassemble him for spare parts and that Inferno was plotting to steal his job, among other things.) If he maintained that level of paranoia throughout the show, he might be argued to have Paranoid Personality Disorder, but his paranoia was really only noticeable after he suffered an injury, and vanished once he was repaired, suggesting that paranoia is not an innate part of his personality (as it would have to be for a diagnosis of a personality disorder to be made). His IDW self, whose paranoia was much more constant, probably does have Paranoid Personality Disorder.

    Galvatron also seems to have a psychotic disorder of some sort. His aggressiveness and brutality are attributable to his character before the plasma bath incident. It's entirely possible, in fact, that Megatron/Galvatron has Antisocial Personality Disorder, the current official term for what is commonly known as psychopathy (not to be confused, as so often happens in fiction, with being psychotic) or sociopathy. He ticks most of the boxes: he lies, he fights and assaults others, he commits crimes, he relies heavily on impulse, and he shows no remorse for his actions. However, it's clear that, post-plasma bath, Galvatron has acquired some sort of psychotic disorder as well. While it's hard to say for sure just what his condition is (because, well, 1980s cartoon writers, despite somehow being better at portraying mental illness than some movies, weren't really trying to portray a particular mental illness), my best guess would be to say that it appears to be some form of Schizophrenia. (More credit to the writers: because Megatron/Galvatron was evil before the plasma bath that caused his psychotic symptoms, his psychotic symptoms are NOT what is making him violent. It makes his violence more random and unpredictable, but it does not make him cruel and violent. This is something that a lot of fictional portrayals of mental illness fail to understand. The writers probably weren't thinking about this at all, but hey, decent representation is decent representation.) He displays distractability and serious cognitive problems, he sometimes displays dysphoria (appearing happy right before shooting at someone or becoming irrationally enraged over small things), has a total absence of insight (he doesn't think that there's anything wrong with him), he has delusions (both of persecution and of grandeur, although some of the latter is probably attributable to his preexisting Antisocial Personality Disorder), his behavior is disorganized and irrational (his schemes can usually be summed up by "shoot everyone within visual range", not the complex plans he had before the plasma bath), and his speech is odd and slightly disorganized as well. And, since his symptoms appear to have lasted for at least 6 months, this is probably enough to qualify him for a diagnosis.

    Exhibit A; Irrational Behavior:
    Cyclonus: Bravo, Galvatron. The Autobots' destruction is assured.
    Galvatron: Assured is not enough. I told you I want their heads, Cyclonus!
    [moments later]
    Cyclonus: Mighty Galvatron... where are the Autobots' heads?!
    Galvatron: [whacks him] What does it matter? Their destruction is assured!

    Exhibit B; Disorganized Speech:
    Galvatron: Hahah, no, no! It's music. The symphony of destruction, and the anthem of agony!

    Exhibit C; Inappropriate Affect:
    "First, you two let Scourge and Starscream steal one of Trypticon's eyes. And then you two allowed Astrotrain to be used as their escape vehicle. So Scourge is helping Starscream voluntarily, and you four were unable to stop them! Well, all I can say is...BWWWAAAAAAA!"

    Exhibit D; Irrational Behavior:
    "I don't know what that thing is back in the tunnels, but even if it gets me as well, I'll die with the satisfaction that the universe will have two more Autobots to mourn!"

    Exhibit E; Inappropriate Affect (and probably delusions of grandeur as well, given the conditions of his troops):
    "You cringy, cowardly, weak-willed fools! Why am I still stuck on this worthless, cosmic trash bin! Why have I not retaken Cybertron?! And most importantly, why have I been saddled with such a useless pile of rusting junk for followers!"
    "But, mighty Galvatron, we humble Sweeps need energon to—"
    "It's power you want?! I will give you power!"

    Exhibit F; Inappropriate Affect (and, arguably, paranoid delusions, depending how treacherous Octane actually was):
    Galvatron: You're a traitor, Octane! You had no permission to take Trypticon away from Dinobot Island! I needed Trypticon for my plans of conquering the Earth. Now, thanks to you, he may never recover!
    Octane: But you got it all wrong, Galvatron! Me and Trypticon found this fantastic new type of energon. It's helping Trypticon get all better real quick! Try some, you'll love it!
    Trypticon: Drink! Drink and CRUSH!
    Galvatron: That's good! Makes me feel stronger, more powerful!

    Exhibit G; Irrational Behavior and paranoid delusions (the Decepticons were very low on energy and didn't know Galvatron was alive; leaving with the Quintessons to attack the Autobots isn't exactly treachery):
    Galvatron: Now, Decepticons, learn the price of your disloyalty! Attack!
    Cyclonus: Attack whom?
    [Galvatron shoots Cyclonus]
    Galvatron: EVERYONE!

    Exhibit H; paranoid delusions:
    THERE IS NO REASONING WITH HIM! DESTROY HIM! HE'S LOST HIS MIND!" (he also accuses Scourge of treachery despite there something being obviously wrong with Scourge.)

    Exhibit I; delusions (how could you break the Matrix by dropping it?):
    "You dropped it, didn't you? You broke the Matrix, didn't you?!"

    Exhibit J; irrational behavior:
    "But you said no mercy, Galvatron!"
    "Very true! So I shall show none!" [hits Predaking]

    You get the idea. Amazingly, none of the above are from "Webworld".
    Thanks for reading my latest monster post. :)  And now to imitate Rung! :)  I am not a licensed psychologist, so take the following with a grain of salt.

    Going by the DSM-5, I would say that Red Alert's episode in "Auto Berserk" was some sort of psychotic episode, caused by a medical condition (specifically, being caught in an explosion and trapped under rubble). If it had lasted for a month or more, it would probably have been best described as Delusional Disorder, as he had no apparent hallucinations. More specifically, he appeared to have delusions of persecution (he believed that the Autobots were planning to disassemble him for spare parts and that Inferno was plotting to steal his job, among other things.) If he maintained that level of paranoia throughout the show, he might be argued to have Paranoid Personality Disorder, but his paranoia was really only noticeable after he suffered an injury, and vanished once he was repaired, suggesting that paranoia is not an innate part of his personality (as it would have to be for a diagnosis of a personality disorder to be made). His IDW self, whose paranoia was much more constant, probably does have Paranoid Personality Disorder.

    Galvatron also seems to have a psychotic disorder of some sort. His aggressiveness and brutality are attributable to his character before the plasma bath incident. It's entirely possible, in fact, that Megatron/Galvatron has Antisocial Personality Disorder, the current official term for what is commonly known as psychopathy (not to be confused, as so often happens in fiction, with being psychotic) or sociopathy. He ticks most of the boxes: he lies, he fights and assaults others, he commits crimes, he relies heavily on impulse, and he shows no remorse for his actions. However, it's clear that, post-plasma bath, Galvatron has acquired some sort of psychotic disorder as well. While it's hard to say for sure just what his condition is (because, well, 1980s cartoon writers, despite somehow being better at portraying mental illness than some movies, weren't really trying to portray a particular mental illness), my best guess would be to say that it appears to be some form of Schizophrenia. (More credit to the writers: because Megatron/Galvatron was evil before the plasma bath that caused his psychotic symptoms, his psychotic symptoms are NOT what is making him violent. It makes his violence more random and unpredictable, but it does not make him cruel and violent. This is something that a lot of fictional portrayals of mental illness fail to understand. The writers probably weren't thinking about this at all, but hey, decent representation is decent representation.) He displays distractability and serious cognitive problems, he sometimes displays dysphoria (appearing happy right before shooting at someone or becoming irrationally enraged over small things), has a total absence of insight (he doesn't think that there's anything wrong with him), he has delusions (both of persecution and of grandeur, although some of the latter is probably attributable to his preexisting Antisocial Personality Disorder), his behavior is disorganized and irrational (his schemes can usually be summed up by "shoot everyone within visual range", not the complex plans he had before the plasma bath), and his speech is odd and slightly disorganized as well. And, since his symptoms appear to have lasted for at least 6 months, this is probably enough to qualify him for a diagnosis.

    Exhibit A; Irrational Behavior:
    Cyclonus: Bravo, Galvatron. The Autobots' destruction is assured.
    Galvatron: Assured is not enough. I told you I want their heads, Cyclonus!
    [moments later]
    Cyclonus: Mighty Galvatron... where are the Autobots' heads?!
    Galvatron: [whacks him] What does it matter? Their destruction is assured!

    Exhibit B; Disorganized Speech:
    Galvatron: Hahah, no, no! It's music. The symphony of destruction, and the anthem of agony!

    Exhibit C; Inappropriate Affect:
    "First, you two let Scourge and Starscream steal one of Trypticon's eyes. And then you two allowed Astrotrain to be used as their escape vehicle. So Scourge is helping Starscream voluntarily, and you four were unable to stop them! Well, all I can say is...BWWWAAAAAAA!"

    Exhibit D; Irrational Behavior:
    "I don't know what that thing is back in the tunnels, but even if it gets me as well, I'll die with the satisfaction that the universe will have two more Autobots to mourn!"

    Exhibit E; Inappropriate Affect (and probably delusions of grandeur as well, given the conditions of his troops):
    "You cringy, cowardly, weak-willed fools! Why am I still stuck on this worthless, cosmic trash bin! Why have I not retaken Cybertron?! And most importantly, why have I been saddled with such a useless pile of rusting junk for followers!"
    "But, mighty Galvatron, we humble Sweeps need energon to—"
    "It's power you want?! I will give you power!"

    Exhibit F; Inappropriate Affect (and, arguably, paranoid delusions, depending how treacherous Octane actually was):
    Galvatron: You're a traitor, Octane! You had no permission to take Trypticon away from Dinobot Island! I needed Trypticon for my plans of conquering the Earth. Now, thanks to you, he may never recover!
    Octane: But you got it all wrong, Galvatron! Me and Trypticon found this fantastic new type of energon. It's helping Trypticon get all better real quick! Try some, you'll love it!
    Trypticon: Drink! Drink and CRUSH!
    Galvatron: That's good! Makes me feel stronger, more powerful!

    Exhibit G; Irrational Behavior and paranoid delusions (the Decepticons were very low on energy and didn't know Galvatron was alive; leaving with the Quintessons to attack the Autobots isn't exactly treachery):
    Galvatron: Now, Decepticons, learn the price of your disloyalty! Attack!
    Cyclonus: Attack whom?
    [Galvatron shoots Cyclonus]
    Galvatron: EVERYONE!

    Exhibit H; paranoid delusions:
    THERE IS NO REASONING WITH HIM! DESTROY HIM! HE'S LOST HIS MIND!" (he also accuses Scourge of treachery despite there something being obviously wrong with Scourge.)

    Exhibit I; delusions (how could you break the Matrix by dropping it?):
    "You dropped it, didn't you? You broke the Matrix, didn't you?!"

    Exhibit J; irrational behavior:
    "But you said no mercy, Galvatron!"
    "Very true! So I shall show none!" [hits Predaking]

    You get the idea. Amazingly, none of the above are from "Webworld".
    Thanks for reading my latest monster post. :) 
     
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  2. feenetron

    feenetron Fan Art Enjoyer

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    Wow, this is really cool! Good job for analyzed Galvatron. I always wonder that something wrong with his mental, especially when he angry at Runamuck, Runabout, and other Decepticons after Scourge and Starscream stole Trypticon eye. And this makes me feel pity for Cyclonus, literally he adore Galvatron but Galvatron often treats him harshly.

    Season 3 characters frequently impressed me. It had two characters who surely had mental problems (Galvatron and Rodimus Prime). Sadly the writers (or Sunbow) too hasty to run this season. If they do more research and more patience, I think Season 3 will more good than season 1 and 2.
     
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  3. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    Great post LW. :D 

    It's always nice to get an in-depth look into the psychology of characters.

    Personally, I always found it better than the previous two.

    Besides, the cartoons handled it as best as they could at the time. If you want more fleshed out and developed signs of the psychology of Roddy and Galvy, look no further than the Marvel UK comics. Those are basically the cartoon versions expanded a bit more.
     
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  4. feenetron

    feenetron Fan Art Enjoyer

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    I read Marvel UK. Don't make me read the stories of Unicron corrupted Rodimus again. He was Maedhros but didn't lose his right hand.
    images (12).jpeg
     
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  5. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    Just a heads up, the whole spiel in the OP repeats itself; you have the same thing twice.
     
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  6. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    I actually liked those stories, really made me feel for Roddy a lot more (and it kinda inspired me to give Roddy post-trauma stress in the stuff I'm writing). Again, that's what I liked about Rodimus, his vulnerability and anxiety really kind of made him much more real to me.
     
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  7. feenetron

    feenetron Fan Art Enjoyer

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    I like the stories of Unicron corrupted Rodimus. But it's also scares me. Marvel UK did really good job for Rodimus Stories. If Sunbow can do like that.

    His post-trauma stress you're writing? Can I see it?
     
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  8. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    Well, they did the best they could at the time, it's just that the comics were geared towards the teenage audiences more than the TV audiences, so they could have a bit more freedom with it.

    I'll send you the stuff through the private messaging section.
     
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  9. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    I bet she wrote in in something more manageable like notepad and just pasted it twice on accident.

    As for the actual post, I really like these psycho-analytics of characters who were not especially designed to have deeper meaning, but end up resembling actual psychological disorders.
     
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  10. feenetron

    feenetron Fan Art Enjoyer

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    Still, Sunbow needs some critics but surely for improvement. Also my critics surely expired as the show was ended and this time was 2021.


    Ok, I'll check it later.
     
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  11. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    Yeah. Sunbow isn't perfect, but IMO, season three was when they really made an effort (again, there were some episodes that weren't up-to-snuff and the animation wasn't the best, but I really felt the stories were much better than a lot of stuff from season one as well as season two).

    Cool.
     
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  12. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    Speaking as a long-term mental health patient (major depression disorder, anxiety disorder, and autism spectrum disorder), I feel compelled to offer a gentle reminder that everyone should be mindful not to stigmatize mental illnesses or developmental disorders. Stigma and discrimination are enormous problems. Every time a lone individual commits a terrible act of violence, people like me are reminded that we're all perceived as potential threats. (We're more likely to be victims.) I know some might think that I'm being a "Debbie Downer," but unfortunately, this stuff can get serious.

    That being said...I liked the addition of Rung to the Transformers universe. I liked that he was offering his services to heroes, not just villains. I liked how compassionate he was with Red Alert...and how fearless he was when counseling Rodimus. And his introduction helps a little to make up for the frequent use of mental illness as a joke (see dialogue between Galvatron and Cyclonus above) or a reason for villainy in previous iterations of the franchise.
     
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