Ever start seeing or hearing a word you just learned about everywhere? You’re not the only one!
Your sister mentions a type of car you'd never even seen of before, but now you can't stop pulling up next to them at stoplights. Your friend makes you listen to a song you'd never heard of and now you can't get it off your radio. Is it an extreme case of coincidence or do you have some sort of superpower to make things appear once you're aware of them? Turns out it has a fancy name: The Baader-Meinhof Frequency Illusion Phenomenon.
The phenomenon occurs when it appears a word, name, or anything else that has recently come to one's attention seems to appear “with improbably frequency” from then on. It's one of many cognitive biases, or different tenancies to think in certain ways.
Other cognitive biases include things like the “cheerleader effect” which makes people appear more attractive in a group than separate, the “curse of knowledge,” which is when those who know more find it hard to see things from the viewpoint of lesser-informed people, and the “recency illusion,” which is when people believe a word or language usage was invented in recent times, when in fact it has been part of the vernacular for quite some time.
The mind thinks in patterns, and sometimes that can lead us to perceive some really crazy things!