Seeing meaningful messages or connections in unrelated phenomena
“….nothing is so alien to the human mind as the idea of randomness.” –John Cohen
We see meaningful patterns everyday, be it natural formations, stock trends, gambling “streaks”, or religious symbols in pieces of toast.
Apophenia was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, and describes the way the mind sees patterns where there are none. Michael Shermer coined the term “patternicity” in 2008 which means “the tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise”.
Scammers know this, and are known to use “priming” to “suggest” patterns to make you see data THEIR way instead of alternate, and far more reasonable explanations.