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Psychohistory: The science of historical prediction
and macrosocial manipulation. The main thesis of psychohistory is that
the actions of trillions of individuals take on a fluidity and predictability
which can be compared to that of molecules in a gas. The very size of the
population being dealt with factors out individual peculiarities and allows
the prediction of its behavior. With the ability to predict the reaction
of a population to a particular stimulus comes the ability to manipulate
that population, psychohistorians reason.
Psychohistory began as a combination of public relations/advertising
techniques and behaviorial science, and although its techniques have been
put on a more rigorous footing, the basic principles are still not well
understood. A number of minor experiments have confirmed the general validity
of the science, but it was also shown to be too expensive to be of any
practical utility. Research continues at a small number of Imperial universities.