Concept

Apophenia

Summary
Apophenia (æpoʊ-ˈfiːniə) is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things. The term (German: Apophänie from the Greek verb ἀποφαίνειν (apophaínein)) was coined by psychiatrist Klaus Conrad in his 1958 publication on the beginning stages of schizophrenia. He defined it as "unmotivated seeing of connections [accompanied by] a specific feeling of abnormal meaningfulness". He described the early stages of delusional thought as self-referential over-interpretations of actual sensory perceptions, as opposed to hallucinations. Apophenia has also come to describe a human propensity to unreasonably seek definite patterns in random information, such as can occur in gambling. Introduction Apophenia can be considered a commonplace effect of brain function. Taken to an extreme, however, it can be a symptom of psychiatric dysfunction, for example, as a symptom in paranoid schizophrenia, where a patient sees hostile patt
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