What is 'déjà vu'?

Kei Quinal

Reading — Intermediate Level
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Activity

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The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, "already seen." Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all. Say, for example, you are traveling to England for the first time. You are touring a cathedral, and suddenly it seems as if you have been in that very spot before. Or maybe you are having dinner with a group of friends, discussing some current political topic, and you have the feeling that you've already experienced this very thing -- same friends, same dinner, same topic.

Since déjà vu occurs in individuals with and without a medical condition, there is much speculation as to how and why this phenomenon happens. Several psychoanalysts attribute déjà vu to simple fantasy or wish fulfillment, while some psychiatrists ascribe it to a mismatching in the brain that causes the brain to mistake the present for the past. Many parapsychologists believe it is related to a past-life experience. Obviously, there is more investigation to be done.
  1. What kind of feeling does a déjà vu cause?

  2. A déjà vu can happen at any time and situation.

  3. What makes a déjà vu strange for most people?

  4. People who are mentally ill cannot experience a déjà vu.

  5. Which of the following experts believe that déjà vu has something to do with the past-life?

Discussion

Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below


  1. On what particular situation did you experience a déjà vu?

  2. What did you feel after having that déjà vu?

  3. Based on your experience, how would you define a déjà vu?

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