frequency bias

Have you ever heard of the phrase “frequency bias” before? Oh well, you cannot imagine my excitement when I discovered the phrase!

So there is this way I feel whenever I discover a word that describes an experience I have or the way I feel about a thing. I remember some years ago when I discovered the phrase “Déjà vu” and its meaning, I was so excited because I was finally able to make sense of an experience I always had and still have. For those who do not know, Déjà vu is simply a feeling that you have already experienced something that is actually happening for the first time. It was in the year 2009 while I was discussing with a friend of mine and I was telling him about how when something happens, I usually feel like “oh yeah! this has happened before, but I cannot remember when” and this happens to me so frequently. Then when my friend told me what it was and explained the meaning to me, it finally made sense.

Recently, I was reading an article on the Youversion Bible app and I saw the phrase “frequency bias“. After reading the explanation that followed, you can once again imagine my excitement…lol.. I felt like a child that was just given a new toy. Before then, I had never seen that phrase anywhere let alone know what it meant but I had experienced the meaning a lot of times, hence my excitement – so finally I can put a name to my experiences!

Have you ever observed how you notice something for the first time and afterwards you start seeing that thing everywhere? Or someone calls your attention to something and you suddenly begin to notice it everywhere as if it is a trend? Okay let me share two different experiences with you. The first time I became aware of this “co-incidence” (that was what I used to think it was back then), was in my year 3 at the University of Ibadan, and I was in a dance group called “Alien Nation”. We were preparing for an event and we agreed to use a checked shirt on a jean trouser as our outfit for the event. Prior to that time I did not even know what a checked shirt looked like until I was shown a sample and after then, I suddenly began to see it almost everywhere on campus. The second experience was when I heard about Toyota Venza for the first time and suddenly I started seeing it everywhere – This is called FREQUENCY BIAS!

Frequency bias also called frequency illusion or Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, is a cognitive bias that refers to the tendency to notice something more frequently after noticing it for the first time, which leads to the belief that it has an increased frequency of occurrence. So tell me, have you ever experienced this? Kindly leave your comments in the comment box.

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