8. Apophenia

A phenomenon related to pareidolia is apophenia.

Apophenia is one of the symptoms of schizophrenia, a term coined in 1958 by German psychiatrist Klaus Conrad. In psychology it is the perception of connections and meanings between independent things with distortion of reality. It can be a normal phenomenon (example having the feeling that the phone is ringing while in the shower with roaring water), but it can also be an abnormal phenomenon as in the case of paranoid schizophrenia when for example the patient sees ominous situations without them existing. The term indicates the spontaneous perception of relevant connections between events, objects or situations that are actually unrelated. However, according to Conrad himself, the phenomenon is also related to creativity, in the sense that the most creative people can grasp unusual connections between seemingly disparate objects and events with no connection to each other. Apophenia explains the attitude of those who are convinced of a certain idea and find confirmations everywhere; so for example, those who believe in numerology (i.e., they believe that numbers have magical or mystical meanings), prophecies, various forms of divination, as well as the basic tenets of religions, are able to find in the world all the confirmations they want, while those who do not share such beliefs do not see any connection between objects and events in the world and the statements of which they would be a confirmation.