Gentle Bamboo Solutions

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon


Yesterday, my wife booked a new car. Since then she and I are seeing it everywhere. It’s like everyone in the world has bought the same car.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself. When you watch a movie, it’s like wherever you go everyone is talking about it. Listen to a new song, read a new book, learn a new word, adopt a new technology, buy a new phone. It’s like the whole world started doing the same thing after you started.

This is called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, or the Frequency Illusion. After doing something, we have a kind of an "awakening of attention", and we start observing more. The thing we start observing has been in the world all along, it’s just that we started paying more attention to it.

In fact, I promise you that you’ll even start noticing the phrase Baader-Meinhof more from now on. It’s not that the world suddenly found out about it. It’s just that you’re tuned in now.

The practical outcome of this new knowledge is to not take it too much into consideration when making decisions. The world hasn’t changed, you have.

The philosophical potential of this is to start focusing on positive ideas and you’ll see the people all around you will seem to keep reminding you to stay positive.

Make what you want out of it, but frequency illusion is a powerful construct of the human mind.

Frequently disillusioned,