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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 ?
The difference between a "normal" person and one with pareidolia is simply whether the over-sensitivity to pattern causes problems functioning.
Such phenomena fall under the aegis of pareidolia, the impulse to extract meaning from the seemingly random--from clustering illusions to mondegreens and constellations.
The next brightest area lies closer to the tail end of the body and, with pareidolia now in full force, I can even conjure up a wing.
En fin, a ciento dieciocho anos de su nacimiento, un trece de agosto, seguimos viendo y admirando el cine de Alfred Hitchcock, como una pareidolia, fenomeno psicologico de imagenes percibidas como formas reconocibles, donde uno proyecta lo mas inquietante de la propia psique.
La palabra pareidolia (que deriva de 'figura') esta definida como un fenomeno psicologico donde una imagen es percibida erroneamente como una forma reconocible.
The ophthalmic technician said: "This was a fantastic example of pareidolia, where our minds make us see a familiar shape when it doesn't actually exist.
Ja no segundo semestre de 2015, apos organizar uma exposicao do designer e artista grafico Roberto Marques produz o livro Pareidolia Tipografica com o qual inicia a colecao Grafica Utopica, dedicada a livros graficos e experimentais (Figura 12).
At the most general level, the paracoustic phenomena examined in the book might arise from one or more of three broad categories of influences--mundane physical and psychological processes (such as the effects of infrasound on subjective experience or the effects of pareidolia on interpretations of EVP), parapsychological processes (ESP and PK), or disembodied consciousness.
However, medics claimed that the couple could be suffering from pareidolia, a condition where people see the image of Jesus in ordinary household stuff or food.