apophenia

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

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Noun[edit]

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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