Soothsayer Delusion Syndrome

A soothsayer is one who practices divination or fortune telling, i.e., one who claims to be able to foresee events through special means (supernatural or paranormal) rather than through the ordinary powers of inductive reasoning.

The Soothsayer's Delusion Syndrome is due to the natural inclination of human beings to rely on magical thinking, to find meaning where there is none (apophenia), and to see significant patterns in insignificant noise (pareidolia). Especially schizophrenic patients are prone to thinking they have soothsaying powers[1].
Clairvoyants or mediums are a related issue. While these idiotic people claim that they have seen or foreseen persons and events that are distant in time or space, science and experience have proven that these people are frauds or deluded.

Psychologists who have studied this phenomenons attribute it to the inherent uncertainty in human existence and the consequent fear and anxiety uncertainty produces. Evolutionary psychologists account for the delusion of soothsayers and clairvoyants in terms of the survival value of being overly cautious and excessively driven to find patterns and meaning.

[1] Sterne et al: The schizophrenic as soothsayer in Psychological Reports – 1976

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