Illusion of discovery?
February 3, 2010 12:00 PM   Subscribe

What's the name of that illusion (if that's the right word) where you think you came up with an idea but you actually heard it from someone else previously?
posted by palet to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
Reverse déjà vu?
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 12:01 PM on February 3, 2010

Response by poster: I don't think it was reverse deja vu. There was a specific word (I think) for situations where you think you made a discovery, or came up with a really cool idea, but you are basically remembering something you heard before. (You are unaware that you heard it before.)
posted by palet at 12:06 PM on February 3, 2010

Best answer: Cryptomnesia, I think.
posted by cider at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2010 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes! Thanks!
posted by palet at 12:25 PM on February 3, 2010

A related idea is "anticipatory plagiarism." That's when you come up with an idea and then read it in a book written well before you had the idea. The plagiarist is the earlier writer, so you can see that it's meant to be a joking term -- as befits its Oulipian origins.
posted by CutaneousRabbit at 1:21 PM on February 3, 2010

Response by poster: Cool, thanks. I had heard about Oulipo, but never read any of their stuff.
posted by palet at 1:25 PM on February 3, 2010

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