There exists a psychological phenomenon whereupon a person may encounter a rather trivial or mundane statement or thought, but would not recognize it as such; instead a person would experience a sense of revelation and even pride in being able to think about that particular statement.

The above phenomenon may happen to everyone occasionally, but some people are considerably more prone to it and may experience trivial "intellectual revelations" on a regular and frequent basis. I recall reading an article on the topic, and apparently the phenomenon is well recognized and even has a proper name (something derived from Greek, if I'm not mistaken). Would anybody be able to remind me of that name for the sake of further research?

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps the word your looking for is "platitude"; otherwise I think It's often refered to as "philosophy". $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2014 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ In abnormal psychology, this probably resembles mania. What you're asking about isn't necessarily pathological though, is it? I remember reading something about a part of the brain that is inhibited by psychedelics, producing a similar inability to recognize mundane stimuli and a consequently overactive sense of novelty, excitement, and subjective creativity (of the sort that might leave the rest of us rolling our eyes). Some degree of individual differences in the regular activity of that cognitive/neurological system probably occurs in the general population too. $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2014 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Nick Stauner The article I recollect reading was about general population. Obviously, similar behavior is common in children, but this is just a normal part of their development. Sometimes, however, it is carried on into the adult age and becomes pronounced enough to be considered abnormal. $\endgroup$
    – oakad
    Aug 30, 2014 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting questions. I know schizophrenics often experience this. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2015 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Might apophenia be the term you are looking for?

The term is attributed to Klaus Conrad by Peter Brugger, who defined it 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.

Also, as mentioned somewhere above, it is commonly found in patients with schizophrenia.

  • $\begingroup$ I know what apophenia is. :). $\endgroup$
    – oakad
    Aug 25, 2015 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ @oakad ah, is this not it? Could have sworn I got it. :P Did you ever figure out what it is? If not, I can keep looking for you. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2015 at 1:10
  • $\begingroup$ The phenomenon I was inquiring about is distinctively different. To give one pretty common example: sometimes people have thoughts occur to them in their (lucid) dreams and those thoughts trigger a joyful emotional response (to the tune of self admiration regarding the greatness and depth of the just procured thought); but when they are fully woken up, they suddenly apprehend that the "great" thought was nothing more than a triviality or nonsense. Now, some people appear to skip the apprehension phase. :) $\endgroup$
    – oakad
    Aug 25, 2015 at 1:23

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