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From German Apophänie, from Ancient Greek ἀποφαίνω (apophaínō, to appear), from ἀπο- (apo-) and φαίνω (phaínō, appear), coined by German psychiatrist Klaus Conrad in 1958.



apophenia (countable and uncountable, plural apophenias)

  1. (psychology) The perception of or belief in connectedness among unrelated phenomena.
    Hyponyms: pareidolia, Monte Carlo fallacy
    • 2004, William Gibson, Pattern Recognition, Penguin UK, →ISBN:
      Apophenia, Win had declared it, after due consideration and in his careful way: the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness in unrelated things. And had never, as far as Cayce knows, said another word about it.
    • 2016 April, Hito Steyerl, “A Sea of Data: Apophenia and Pattern (Mis-)Recognition”, in e-flux[1], number 72:
      How to recognize something in sheer noise? A striking visual example of pure and conscious apophenia was recently demonstrated by research labs at Google: []

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