Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) being mistakenly perceived as recognizable. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, seeing the man in the moon, and hearing messages on records played in reverse. The Rorschach inkblot test uses pareidolia to gain insight into a person's mental state.
Skeptics assert that sightings of religious or iconic figures in everyday objects, such as Marian apparitions, are examples of pareidolia, as are electronic voice phenomena. The Face on Mars is another phenomenon sometimes attributed to pareidolia.
A similar phenomenon is the clustering illusion.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details