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===Statistics===
 
===Statistics===
 
In [[statistics]], apophenia would be classed as a [[Type I and type II errors|Type I error]] (false positive, false alarm, caused by an excess in [[sensitivity]]). Apophenia is often used as an explanation of some [[Anomalous phenomenon|paranormal]] and [[Religion|religious]] claims. It has been suggested that apophenia is a link between psychosis and [[creativity]].
 
In [[statistics]], apophenia would be classed as a [[Type I and type II errors|Type I error]] (false positive, false alarm, caused by an excess in [[sensitivity]]). Apophenia is often used as an explanation of some [[Anomalous phenomenon|paranormal]] and [[Religion|religious]] claims. It has been suggested that apophenia is a link between psychosis and [[creativity]].
 
===Fiction===
 
[[Postmodernity|Postmodern]] novelists and film-makers have reflected on apophenia-related phenomena, such as paranoid narrativization or fuzzy plotting (e.g., [[Vladimir Nabokov|Vladimir Nabokov's]] "[[Signs and Symbols]]", [[Thomas Pynchon|Thomas Pynchon's]] ''[[The Crying of Lot 49]]'' and ''[[V.]]'', [[Alan Moore|Alan Moore's]] ''[[Watchmen]]'', [[Umberto Eco|Umberto Eco's]] ''[[The Name of the Rose]]'' and ''[[Foucault's Pendulum]]'', [[William Gibson (novelist)|William Gibson's]] ''[[Pattern Recognition (novel)|Pattern Recognition]]'', [[Arturo Pérez-Reverte|Arturo Pérez-Reverte's]] ''[[The Club Dumas]]'', ''[[The Illuminatus! Trilogy]]'' by [[Robert Shea]] and [[Robert Anton Wilson]], and the [[film]]s ''[[Conspiracy Theory (film)|Conspiracy Theory]]'', ''[[Pi (film)|π]]'', ''[[A Beautiful Mind (film)|A Beautiful Mind]]'' and ''[[The Number 23]]''). As narrative is one of our major cognitive instruments for structuring reality, there is some common ground between apophenia and narrative [[Fallacy|fallacies]] such as [[hindsight bias]]. Since pattern recognition may be related to plans, goals, and ideology, and may be a matter of group ideology rather than a matter of solitary delusion, the interpreter attempting to diagnose or identify apophenia may have to face a conflict of interpretations.
 
 
[[Question (comics)|The Question]], who is a [[conspiracy theorist]] in the television series ''[[Justice League Unlimited]]'', was mentioned to have apophenia. He claimed to see connections between the Girls Scouts and the crop circle phenomenon as well as spy satellites and fluoridated toothpaste.
 
 
In 2006, [[webcomic]] author [[Ghastly's Ghastly Comic|Chris Cracknell]] drew a short-lived series [http://www.webcomicsnation.com/ghastly/apophenia/series.php Apophenia 357], in which each strip is presented without accompanying dialogue; the intent was that the each reader would derive their own storyline based on the artwork alone.
 
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
 
* [[Pareidolia]]
 
* [[Pareidolia]]
 
* [[Clustering illusion]]
 
* [[Clustering illusion]]
* [[23 (numerology)]]
 
 
* [[Synchronicity]]
 
* [[Synchronicity]]
 
* [[Hindsight bias]]
 
* [[Hindsight bias]]

Latest revision as of 14:48, March 14, 2007

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Apophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness".

OriginsEdit

Conrad originally described this phenomenon in relation to the distortion of reality present in psychosis, but it has become more widely used to describe this tendency in healthy individuals without necessarily implying the presence of neurological or mental illness.

UsageEdit

StatisticsEdit

In statistics, apophenia would be classed as a Type I error (false positive, false alarm, caused by an excess in sensitivity). Apophenia is often used as an explanation of some paranormal and religious claims. It has been suggested that apophenia is a link between psychosis and creativity.

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  • Klaus Conrad, 1958, Die beginnende Schizophrenie. Versuch einer Gestaltanalyse des Wahns. Stuttgart: Thieme.
  • William Gibson, 2003, Pattern Recognition. New York: G. P. Putnam's, 2003.


External linksEdit

es:Apofenia
ru:Апофения
de:Apophänie
fr:Apophénie
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