Revision guide: Write basic psychological profiles based on the case studies in chapter 12 and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
Me: .... this is so boring. ^_^; Most of these people just need a life... Hey, I have a better idea!
These are dedicated to AngelRoy, discussions with whom gave me said better idea. ^_^ 3
Subject: Kudo Shinichi
Prognosis: Identity crisis (no shit, Sherlock)
Subject is an Asian teen male, age 17 (physically 7 at present). Most striking personality feature is the immensely high IQ and highly logical mindset. Definitely a very left-brained individual- logical, mathematical, most comfortable with set facts and controlled variables. IQ is likely 180+, definitely somewhere in genius territory. While he's fond of soccer, it's likely that he could quickly master any sport he turns his hand (or foot) to, particularly structured or team sports with set rules and regulations. He likes to keep himself in shape, even more so as Conan since he clearly resents the physical barriers brought on by his reduced size.
Social relationships, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. His high IQ sets him apart from his peers and even most adults; as an adult, this led to an ego problem, primarily that it was so inflated that you could rent it out for children's parties (as long as they took their shoes off first). Shrinking must have been a terrible blow to that, not only because of the huge physical limitations it brought (this tends to be a bigger deal for males who, no matter how intellectual, are still inclined to compete physically, only made worse by the fact that he was clearly a shrimp for his age; not only is he smaller than a 17-year-old, he's smaller than most 7-year-olds) but because while once everyone listened to him and praised him before, people don't take kids seriously. He's not listened to and generally brushed off or downright ignored, even though he's right. He's probably unused to being out of the spotlight, and the adults around him will seem condescending, stupid or slow (likely all three in Kogoro's case). This makes it a little difficult for him to happily deal with adults, and dealing with actual kids is even harder due to the vast difference in mental level.
His acting skills are what's saving him; as was seen at the school play and in his ability to deceive everyone into believing that he's "Conan", he's got a lot of his mother's acting skills. He also has a mild strain of what he termed "actress brain disease" from her as well. He tends to be a little over-dramatic (case in point: when he turned up at the school play. Just read the first line he said after removing the helmet for a prime example) and this is also why he doesn't just lay everything out, but explains things bit by bit, often calling for re-enactments or demonstrations. He likes having control of the situation, and again, shrinking would have a negative effect here since it's definitely a situation that he has no control over whatsoever. The net result is a massive ego deflation, possibly slightly overdone; his self-confidence for a good while may have been a result of acting rather than genuine confidence. It's also probably a factor in why he doesn't want people to know that he's been shrunk; it's completely humiliating and he's afraid of being a laughingstock- again, not being taken seriously, a minor form of hell to him. He's always a touch over-polite, formality the best way to mask an inability to function easily in social situations.
The ego problem was likely only made worse by his parents- his mother, especially, seems to have adopted a permissive parenting style (Kogoro has been seen to comment that Yukiko was raising Shinichi in a "non-intervention" way). In other words, high on praise and low on punishment if he did wrong- the closest we've seen to disciplinary action was that goofy hoax that heralded Yukiko and Yuusaku's first appearances and in a flashback, where Yukiko gives Shinichi a noogie for lying to her, which Yuusaku quickly stops- though he's unlikely to have been a badly disobedient or rebellious child anyway- again, the few flashes we've seen of his genuine childhood, he seems to have been a bit too mature for that, although that did leave him looking rather perpetually bored except for when something interesting was happening, like Kuroba Toichi tossing knives around. Possibly the lack of serious parenting caused him to grow up a little faster than other kids, coupled with his intellectual maturity.
While he's on good terms with his parents, neither of them seems to be his primary figure of attachment; this may be something to do with their heavily laissez-faire style of parenting, or possibly because they had him too young and too fresh out of the celebrity social life. They were 21 at the time, Yukiko had retired from acting only about a year previously and Yuusaku was rapidly rising as a novelist at the time. In other words, they were probably still heavily involved with their LA celebrity social life at the time, which meant either at least partially abandoning said social lives or leaving Shinichi in the care of others. While Yukiko mentions that they left their socialite lives in LA behind to live in Japan and raise Shinichi, they took off for them again as soon as legally possible. A particular point of note here is that Shinichi didn't think twice about remaining in Japan on his own, both when they returned to LA and when he shrank, and the one time he's been seen to visit America he brought Ran with him. The earliest known image of the two together is in kindergarten, around the tail end of the period where children are capable of forming primary attachments or else suffering some retardation in social or emotional development (type C attachments often lead to this). Therefore, it's highly likely that Shinichi's primary attachment, rather than being a parent or guardian as usual, is actually Ran. Primary attachment figures are the role models in a child's social development and the relationship a child forms with them determines what kind of relationships they'll form with others later in life; since girls outstrip boys in emotional development from an early age, it is entirely possible that Ran became the focus of Shinichi's primary attachment. This becomes even more likely when you consider the other pseudo-parental roles that she's fulfilled, such as being what seems to be his sole source of disciplinary action and emergency ego-deflation. Emotionally, she's sort of a "mother" figure to him. As Freud's example of the Oedipus complex shows, this is not incompatible with romantic feelings, which he certainly has for her; you could also cite the "common wisdom" that men go for women like their mothers- in this case, a woman who is, on some emotional level, a mother figure. This could be why he's willing to act the part of Conan for her, no matter how scared he is of her finding out the truth (for reasons ranging from humiliation at looking weak in front of her, to the Syndicate killing her, to her possible killing him for lying to her). His inner child has control of the body now, and it wants a mother's warmth and love. His inner teenager just wants to go back to the hot spring. (He does have iron self-control and a good strong sense of propriety, I'll give him that).
On another level, she's his best and probably only real friend; he doesn't connect with people well, since he simply doesn't understand them. Because his thought processes are so deeply logical, he's good at deduction, but it gives him a hard time dealing with people and emotions, which are anything but. At the murder at the school play, for example, he was heard to say "No matter how many times they try to explain it to me, I just can't understand why one person would kill another. I can try to understand it in my head, but it just doesn't make any sense... at all..." *collapses* He tries to understand the motive logically, but cold logic rarely factors into a motive for murder. His mindset tries to process everything as set and controlled variables, but people and emotions are unpredictable at best. This makes him a great detective, but bad at connecting with people. This may be why Hattori Heiji often seems to annoy him; he's simply not used to close contact, emotionally or otherwise, with any individual other than Ran. Heiji, on the other hand, forms close relationships fast, and his persistent friendship may be good for helping Shinichi to open up to people. Shinichi likes having strict control over his emotions, as is common with predominantly left-brained people, but to understand emotions he needs to let his own loose a little more.
The only other person to bring out similar reactions is actually the Kaitou Kid. Normal people look like a simple logic puzzle next to this guy. (His psych profile is gonna be so much fun). Kid has no discernible motive and goes out of his way to define all known conventions of thieves, especially the notes- they warn people that he's coming, when he's coming, and often how he's coming too. He's very good at improvisation, and is basically completely unpredictable. He's a variable that is not only uncontrolled, but in fact on a complete rampage and shaking up all of the other variables while he's at it. This could be part of why the thief annoys Shinichi so much; he simply refuses to be tied down to logic or rationality. Shinichi could be so desperate to catch Kid because it would mean that he's brought an uncontrolled variable under control; Kid is symptomatic of everything that's spun out of Shinichi's control- which is everything- and perhaps Shinichi feels that if he can catch this guy, everything else might fall back under control as well. On the other hand, he also sometimes seems not too bothered about Kid escaping him- he likely enjoys the mental challenge that Kid provides, and for someone who deals primarily with homicides and trips over bodies wherever he goes, the non-violent thief might be an almost welcome respite.
It might also be his sense of justice that leads him to let the thief go. Unlike some detectives, Shinichi's definitions of "Justice" and "Law" are not identical and often have no overlap. He's willing to flout the law to see justice done (in the Nakago murder case, he searches the rooms of several members of the family even though this is illegal as the sole suspect is the deceased Hideomi; Heiji points out that it's "breaking an' entering". During the teleporting case, he knocks out a couple of police officers in order to face Kid alone) and doesn't seem too bothered about it- somewhere, he's picked up the idea that the law isn't always right. (This is almost certainly from his father; he seemed aware of Kuroba Toichi's night job but never turned him in, though the full nature of their friendship/acquaintance/rivalry/what-the-hell is never made clear.) The most striking example is the Ariade murder case, where he even enlists Megure's help to lay a trap for Yoko and create a false confession to protect Hikaru- this is even more surprising given his obsession with the truth. Probably the hardest part of being Conan, for him, is the constant lying- deceit is something that he's skilled at but has been seen to dislike. "Shinjitsu wa Itsumo Hitotsu", after all, and his life's work is finding it. This strict adherence to the truth and principles of justice were both almost certainly due to his father's influence, who is similar, although they could both have come from Ran as well- the child of a very honest- and skilled- lawyer and an ex-police officer. His inability to understand the mind of a murderer, in fact, could have come to him from Kogoro through Ran; in the murder case at Kogoro's school reunion, Kogoro comments that "I don't understand how it can feel acceptable to take someone's life away... and I don't want to." Maybe Shinichi's more like Kogoro than he'd like.
As has been established, he's not great with people or emotions, so it's no wonder he has no idea how to handle women. He's tongue-tied around Ran, a rare occurrence, and since he doesn't have a good handle on emotions he really has no idea how to express his feelings to Ran. He generally resorts to perfectionism as a result (see below). He's even worse with Ai, although she could be deliberately unsettling him. He doesn't seem to have any real idea about her feelings, and would probably have no idea how to let her down lightly if he did (his inability to make Ayumi let him go is a prime example.)
One other striking trait: he's a perfectionist. This could be an aspect of his "drama queen" disease. He likes to have everything just so- this is shown in his choice of dress, which is noticeably more neat and adult than most children go for, and even as an adult it's pretty reserved and formal. Prime example is the blazer and bow tie combination- few children suffer that willingly. Though he wears this outfit less as time goes on, he still has a tendency towards button-down shirts, slacks, and jackets (He's wearing variations on this combination on the second night of the Walking On Air Kid heist and on both nights of the Teleporting heist- possibly he likes to look more mature when hunting Kid down.) and other mature outfits. Even as an adult, he seems to go for similar combinations and is probably happy enough in his school uniform. His perfectionism is sometimes a downfall; each time he returns on an antidote, he intends to confess his feelings to Ran, but he keeps waiting for a "perfect moment" and tends to wait a little too long (case in point: the restaurant. He even went to the trouble of going to the restaurant where his father proposed, and I'm not even certain that them getting the same table was purely chance. Still, he held his tongue, waiting for the "perfect moment"... and the one he chose, too late, was interrupted by a dead guy.) Perfectionism is often the result of insecurity, something which isn't instantly obvious in Shinichi, though it could be a result of the Conan situation, or maybe he's conscious that he can't handle people very well, the whole thing only exacerbated by his need to control the variables. He feels that things will go wrong if they aren't just so. Still, he's not bad at improvisation either, and if he becomes more comfortable with that- or gets brave enough to take a chance and tell Ran his feelings, whatever the situation- he might be surprised by the results.
Overall, the guy's logical and has control issues, which are good traits for a detective and a bad trait for being social. His friendship with Hattori Heiji is definitely a positive step. I think having his ego so drastically deflated might be a good thing in the long run, as well as getting to deal with friendships on the simplest level- children. The only thing that doesn't seem set to change any time soon? The "drama queen" disease. Not an official mental disorder, but he has it, and he has it bad. Someone needs to tell him to stop dragging things out. It's unlikely to be Heiji, since his deductive skills are pretty much up to par with Shinichi's so he generally follows him well, but Ran probably should. He'll listen to her, after all- he gives what she says more weight than anyone else.
... that was fun, but it feels a little rambling and I have no idea how much sense it makes to people who haven't done Higher Psychology. Comments? Complaints? Clarification needed?