Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pattern Seeking: Finding Order in Chaos

From yee Wiki:
Apophenia /æpˈfniə/ is the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data.
The term apparently dates back to 1958, when Klaus Conrad published a monograph titled Die beginnende Schizophrenie. Versuch einer Gestaltanalyse des Wahns ("The onset of schizophrenia: an attempt to form an analysis of delusion"), in which he described in groundbreaking detail the prodromal mood and earliest stages of schizophrenia. He coined the word "Apophänie" to characterize the onset of delusional thinking in psychosis. Conrad's theories on the genesis of schizophrenia have since been partially, yet inconclusively, confirmed in psychiatric literature when tested against empirical findings.
Conrad's neologism was translated into English as "apophenia" (from the Greek apo [away from] + phaenein [to show]) to reflect the fact that a person with schizophrenia initially experiences delusion as revelation.
In 2001 neuroscientist Peter Brugger referenced Conrad's terminology and defined the term as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness."
Apophenia has come to imply a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information, such as gambling.

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