Nature: Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena. There is currently a controversial debate concerning whether unusual experiences are symptoms of a mental disorder, if mental disorders are a consequence of such experiences, or if people with mental disorders are especially susceptible to or even looking for these experiences.
Background: The term was coined by K. Conrad in 1958.
Incidence: In statistics, apophenia is called a Type I error, seeing patterns where none, in fact, exist. It is highly probable that the apparent significance of many unusual experiences and phenomena are due to apophenia, eg, ghosts and hauntings, EVP, numerology, the Bible code, anomalous cognition, ganzfeld "hits", most forms of divination, the prophecies of Nostradamus, remote viewing, and a host of other paranormal and supernatural experiences and phenomena.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 12.12.2004 – 00:00 CET