The idea stems from an observation in the “Slept in a shared room” shouldn’t be a thing thread.
In that thread, the idea was floated that the negative thought for sleeping in the same room because it didn’t make sense, and that the heartlings should only enjoy the positive thought related to sleeping.
@Brackhar objected that the reason for the negative thought was to hint at the player that it is something the player can improve upon to make it better for his/her hearthlings.
It is about the existence of a thought that the hearthling slept in a shared room, and if it didn’t exist, the player would not so easily find out that it could improve that point.
Now in that thread, ideas have come up to fix that, but the concept is still there: a situation were the negative thought doesn’t make sense to exist, but needs to be there to hint to the player that it can be better.
This is where neutral thoughts would come in. It is a way to show what hearthlings think, even when these thoughts aren’t that important to them. This way, the player can see what the hearthlings notice.
So in the case of the shared rooms, to make it so that the hearthlings won’t be sad about a shared room, while also being happy when the get their on room, you simply mimic that in the thoughts system. Sleeping in a shared room has a neutral thought, while sleeping in the hearthlings own room will get a happy thought.
With this suggestion, I trying to fix the current systems flaw that the game can’t communicate to the player that it cares about aspects unless the current circumstances of those aspects have an impact on the gameplay.