Religious Priming & Pareidolia

Religion Cognition and Behavior Lab

University of Amsterdam

Unpublished Results















Pareidolia refers to the phenomenon of illusory face perception. We developed a stimulus set to measure pareidolia, consisting of 38 standardized pareidolia stimuli and 38 control stimuli (i.e. representing similar objects without a face being present). In an experiment (N = 37) we investigated whether supernatural priming would facilitate illusory face detection. A within-subjects semantic priming manipulation was used (for similar design, see: van Elk, Rutjens, van der Pligt & van Harreveld, 2014, RBB) and as a dependent measure the number of illusory faces was determined. No effect of supernatural priming on illusory face detection was observed. However, this could be related to a ceiling effect in performance on the pareidolia task - as there is a very strong pop-out effect of the face stimuli


The stimulus-set is available upon request.


The data from this project can be found here.