Thursday, September 29, 2016

Interesting words: Pareidolia

Definition:  Pareidolia is the tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer. The adjectival form is pareidolic.

Pronunciation:  Rhymes with pair eye do lee uh

Origin: From ancient Greek: Para (alongside) + eidolon (image).

Why use it?  What a wonderful word to have!  This is a very common thing for people to do, much more common than we acknowledge. People see patterns, even in random data.  Psychologists have shown this by generating random sequences of digits and showing them to people - who then find patterns.  But we also do this in the "real world" with all sorts of vague stuff.

Some people think that dreams have deep meaning while others think that the interpretation of dreams is pareidolia.  
On a summer afternoon it is pleasant to lie on the grass, gaze at the clouds and engage in pareidolia

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