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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

déjà vu A psychological phenomenon in which the subject experiences a situation that he or she feels strongly has been experienced before. It is believed that a unique combination of sensory inputs (hearing an unusually worded phrase along with perceiving a distinctive odor, for example) may bring about recall of a previous similar or identical combination, thus creating the illusion that the entire experience has been previously encountered.
      Since this is a strange experience, it is often enthusiastically brought up as an example of a probable psi phenomenon, which it is not.
      See also cryptomnesia.

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