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The perception of a recognizable image or meaningful pattern where none exists or is intended, as the perception of a face in the surface features of the moon.

[para- + Greek eidōlon, image, phantom; see idol + -ia.]


(Psychiatry) the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features
[C20: from para-4 + eidolon]
References in periodicals archive ?
There is actually a scientific explanation for this apparent daftness called face pareidolia.
It has also been suggested pareidolia is at play - the brain's autth faat automatic reaction to trick the eye into seeing faces and familiar objects such as animal shapes in patterns, textures or clouds.
Para aproximarnos a "La tupida copa de un arbol" empleamos fuentes variopintas, lo que nos permitio abordar teorias, temas, conceptos y fenomenos como la mirada, la pareidolia, el voyeurismo, el exhibicionismo y los "espacios vacios.
Exhibitions COVENTRY 50 BISHOP STREET GALLERY: Pareidolia, works by nine artists, until September 14.
Another example of pareidolia is the famous "face on Mars" supposedly visible in pictures taken by NASA's Viking 1 orbiter in 1976.
Psychologists call this phenomenon Pareidolia - the willingness to recognize familiar shapes in abstract patterns.
Psychology literature describes cognitive biases that could be related, such as subjective validation, self-deception, confirmation bias, apophenia, pareidolia, and the Texas sharpshooter fallacy, but none of those quite seem to describe hypersuperstition.
It only shows that similarities in the form of some depictions might be considered as a form of pareidolia (the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist), and that such morphological similarities might be used to test a scientific hypothesis.
Doctors have a name for the tendency to see the shapes of animals or humans in inanimate objects like clouds or vegetables - it's called pareidolia.
After leaving Psyche for the first time in anger and dejection, Orual instead sees a puff of palatial pareidolia in the fog, which evanesces in microseconds: "There was a tiny space of time in which I thought I could see how some swirlings of the mist had looked, for the moment, like towers and walls.