This post has been on the to-do-list for a while but it was my last post that made me decide to do this one now. If you don’t know what the “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” is play the video on my last post and (if you live in the UK) it should give you a hint. If you have heard of the “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” before you may just be experiencing it for the first time right now. If not, you’ll no doubt be hearing of it again very soon.
If you hadn’t guessed yet, the phenomenon is pretty close to the idea of “deja-vous”, it is the weird feeling we get that every time we learn a new word or phenomenon and sooner than seems natural we start hearing about it all around us. It’s caused by the intrinsic nature of our brains to make relationships between separate events and to ignore what we don’t understand. This is similar to the phenomenon of selective attention, or the “cocktail party effect”, the puzzle of why we can hear next to nothing from a blur of conversation going on in a “cocktail party” but we catch the word every time if our own name is said.
Only last week I heard the word “Brouhaha” for the first time (that I can distinctly remember anyway) and within a week it was back again. It could be a new “trend” but judgeing by the google hits for the word and the definitions pages online (and the age of the people saying it) its been around for quite some time. I first heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon when skimming the Reddit responses to an old article of mine (it’s a hilarious thread, I must admit and I would recommend you check it out if you literally have nothing better to do and are in need of a giggle)… I thought it was quite a good example of the “BMP”. If you’d like a proper explanation, partly because it’s so nicely written and partly because I’m feeling a little on the lazy side today I’d recommend this “Damninteresting” explanation of the phenomenon.Follow Simon on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
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