The similarity hypothesis of déjà vu: On the relationship between frequency of real-life déjà vu experiences and sensitivity to configural resemblance

Eriko Sugimori, Takashi Kusumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Prior research has suggested that configural resemblance between a current scene and a previously experienced but forgotten one may trigger déjà vu experiences. The present study examined whether there is a relationship between the frequency of actual déjé vu experiences, measured by questionnaires, and sensitivity to a configural resemblance between past and present events, measured by questionnaires, and between two scenes presented simultaneously in the laboratory. We measured familiarity ratings and remember-know judgements of several scenes. Some scenes had been previously presented, some were similar to previously presented scenes and the others were dissimilar. Déjà vu tendencies were significantly correlated with sensitivity to similarity in the measured questionnaires and in the laboratory, as well as to a feeling of familiarity for similar scenes. In this study, we found for the first time that people who more frequently experience déjé vu states were also more likely to regard themselves as sensitive to similarity and more likely to notice the similarity between two scenes in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 2



  • Configural similarity
  • Déjà vu
  • Familiarity
  • Individual differences
  • Remember-know judgement.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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