ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5


Apophenia is when our brains try to make connections between unrelated things. For example, it's like our brains are trying to solve a puzzle but don't have all the pieces. They see pieces from two different puzzles, and try to force them together as if they were one puzzle, even though they don't fit. It's like if you try to fit a piece of a cat puzzle into a boat puzzle - it just doesn't fit! Apophenia can be helpful, because it can help us make creative connections we may not have made otherwise. But it can also lead us to wrong conclusions and make us think that things are connected when they're really not.