: the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)
Apophenia was borrowed from German Apophänie, itself from apo- (apo-, meaning "away from" or "detached") and phänie (-phany, meaning "appearance, manifestation").
Another thing we will not address here, are any of the theories that suggest that ghosts are nothing more than refracted light, low frequency vibrations, or simply just some form of apophenia.
— Jim Griffin, How to Survive an Alien Abduction: And Other Useful Information, 2008
The promise of the Data Age is that the truth really is in there, somewhere. But our age has a curse, too: apophenia, the tendency to see patterns that may or may not exist.
— Daniel Conover, Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 30 Aug. 2004