Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Synchronicity, Overview

  • Laura K. Kerr
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_348


The Swiss depth psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) introduced the term synchronicity to describe circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection. The concept synchronicity grounds Jung’s analytical psychology, which is concerned with transcendental aspects of the human psyche and the collective wholeness of all life. For Jung, synchronicity was evidence of the mutual interdependence of psyche and the physical world. Along with space, time, and causality, Jung saw synchronicity as one of the basic organizing principles governing the universe.


There are three identifying aspects of synchronistic events: (1) meaningful coincidence, (2) acausal connection, and (3) numinosity. (See Traditional Debatesbelow for further discussion of numinosity.) Meaningful coincidences occur when events that otherwise seem random, and thus lacking causal connections, nevertheless share a common symbolism, which Jung perceived as evidence of a...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mental Health Scholar and PsychotherapistSan FranciscoUSA