Also known as the “Baader–Meinhof phenomenon” or “frequency bias,” frequency illusion is a cognitive bias in which, after noticing something for the first time, there is a tendency to notice it more often, leading someone to believe that it has an increased frequency of occurrence. It occurs when increased awareness of something creates the illusion that it is appearing more often. Put plainly, the frequency illusion occurs when “a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to pop up everywhere.”
As someone who has both a lot of ideas and at least a small sense of FOMO, I often get the feeling that people have “stolen my idea” when I see someone release a product, a service, heck, even a tweet about something I’ve been researching and plan to do something about. I recently learned about frequency illusion, and it’s a sobering and relieving reminder that my ideas aren’t as original as I sometimes believe them to be.