Have You Guys Heard About That Thing Where You Hear About Something And Then Everybody Else Suddenly Hears About It?

You ever notice how sometimes you’ll come across a band or a TV show that nobody in the world seems to know about, but then once you know about it it’s suddenly everywhere? That happens to me all the time, and apparently it has a name and is based on a couple of psychological principles. It’s called frequency illusion, and it goes a little something like this:

It’s caused, he wrote, by two psychological processes. The first, selective attention, kicks in when you’re struck by a new word, thing, or idea; after that, you unconsciously keep an eye out for it, and as a result find it surprisingly often. The second process, confirmation bias, reassures you that each sighting is further proof of your impression that the thing has gained overnight omnipresence.

Neat! I’m going to go share this with everyone now, because I bet they’ve totally never heard of it!

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