Why do we usually look at the clock at 11:11? Spoiler: we don’t usually look at the clock at 11:11. If we do a quick search on the internet we can see several articles that talk about this curious event. Some are based on numerology to make sense of this phenomenon. Supposedly, the 1 symbolizes strength, energy and creativity. And of course, if you put it four times in a row, all the better. This is what these theories say without any scientific evidence. However, if you think you look at your watch a lot at that time, you are facing a case of apophenia.
Don’t panic, it may sound like illness or something bad, but actually it is a very common event, which we have all experienced at some time. If you are not obsessed with it, it is nothing to worry about.
What is apophenia?
Apophenia is a phenomenon whereby we tend to see patterns where there are none. Basically, we pay more attention to certain events if we are predisposed to them. For example, if we are thinking of a person and he happens to call us on the phone, we will think that both questions may be related. We will notice in a way that we would not have done if that same person had called us at any other time.
Apophenia makes us see patterns where there are none
Something similar happens when a person is trying to get pregnant or is terrified of getting pregnant. Both issues can make us think, when we go out, that we have seen many pregnant women. Actually, there is no more than usual, but as this is an issue that concerns us we look more.
The Swiss neuropsychiatrist Peter brugger has published some studies on this topic. In them, he argues that apophenia may be the result of a excessive activity in the dopaminergic system, since an abnormal dopamine secretion has been observed in people very prone to this phenomenon.
Logically, if it occurs in a timely manner, as with phone calls or pregnancies, it is not something worrisome. If it occurs repeatedly and causes obsession, as happens to the protagonist of the film Number 23, we would already be facing something pathological. In fact, people with schizophrenia they tend to experience apophenia very frequently.
What does it have to do with the hours?
The theme of 11:11 is a case of apophenia marked by that idea implanted in society from the numerology. It does not matter that we do not believe in these pseudosciences. Our brain can unconsciously give us a warning when we look at the clock just at that time. And not at other times of the day when, of course, we also take a look at it.
Apophenia also arises with other hours that can mean something to us
It can happen with other hours. For example, when we see our date of birth on a digital watch. If we were born on August 15, 15:08 will attract our attention more than if we had checked the time a minute later.
Another legend without any foundation with a similar basis is that it says that we usually wake up between 3 and 4 in the morning, because it is the demonic hour, when paranormal activity increases. Supposedly it is due to the fact that Christ passed away at 15 in the afternoon. But at that time you will wake up at most if you are an Andalusian taking a nap. Therefore, they decided to change it at dawn. If you wake up at that time, your brain could find a relationship if you have heard this theory many times. You will be aware and you will think about it. But not if you wake up at any other time of the night.
In short, no. We don’t have any kind of magnetism that makes us look at the clock at 11:11. That is an hour like any other and if we take a look at the wrist at that moment it will be a simple coincidence. Whatever numerology says.