Pareidolia Or Apophenia?

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

I had seen this quote and this image before. But what’s interesting today is that I saw this on Twitter with a follow-up question:

Someone asked: “Anyone know is there is an official term in psychology for this? I’ve been thinking about this concept a bunch lately.”

And this is why I just love Twitter! There is so much of information/knowledge/wisdom sharing that you can learn much more, if you follow right people and right topics.

One person replied that the word for it is: Pareidolia.

Pareidolia is the tendency to see faces in objects.

However the other person disagreed slightly and suggested Apophenia.

Apophenia is the more general term for imbuing things where there is none or connecting unrelated phenomena. Related to the more specific pareidolia which was already mentioned

Others suggested more commonly known Confirmation bias or Observer’s bias.

It’s interesting how Twitter or such social media platforms can trigger meaningful conversations among the curious minds. Afterall, Social Media is just a tool. It’s how we use it which matters.

I have created 2 separate Twitter handles. One where I only follow very select few accounts and just soak in such interesting conversations and wisdom nuggets. I don’t tweet much using that handle. And then I have the other handle where I do my usual nonsense – tweeting, political attacks, speculation, gossiping etc. So overall, my time on Twitter has gone up – but for better!


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