Serendipity vs. Synchronicity

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Serendipity and Synchronicity is that the Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise” and Synchronicity is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences”.

  • Serendipity

    Serendipity means an unplanned, fortunate discovery. Serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of product invention and scientific discovery. In recent years, the phenomenon has become a potential design principle in online activity for preventing filter bubbles and echo chambers.

  • Synchronicity

    Synchronicity (German: Synchronizität) is a concept, first introduced by analytical psychologist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. During his career, Jung furnished several different definitions of it. Jung defined synchronicity as an “acausal connecting (togetherness) principle,” “meaningful coincidence”, and “acausal parallelism.” He introduced the concept as early as the 1920s but gave a full statement of it only in 1951 in an Eranos lecture.In 1952 Jung published a paper “Synchronizität als ein Prinzip akausaler Zusammenhänge” (Synchronicity – An Acausal Connecting Principle) in a volume which also contained a related study by the physicist and Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli, who was sometimes critical of Jung’s ideas. Jung’s belief was that, just as events may be connected by causality, they may also be connected by meaning. Events connected by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of causality, which does not generally contradict the Axiom of Causality but in specific cases can lead to prematurely giving up causal explanation.

    Jung used the concept in arguing for the existence of the paranormal. A believer in the paranormal, Arthur Koestler wrote extensively on synchronicity in his 1972 book The Roots of Coincidence.Mainstream science explains synchronicities as mere coincidences or spurious correlations which can be described by laws of statistics – for instance law of truly large numbers. However, Jung proponent professor Bernard D. Beitman (who is not a mathematician) accused the law of truly large numbers of not being well established but based on “plausibility, not mathematical proof”

  • Serendipity (noun)

    An unsought, unintended, and/or unexpected, but fortunate, discovery and/or learning experience that happens by accident.

  • Serendipity (noun)

    A combination of events which are not individually beneficial, but occurring together to produce a good or wonderful outcome.

  • Synchronicity (noun)

    The state of being synchronous or simultaneous.

  • Synchronicity (noun)

    Coincidences that seem to be meaningfully related; supposedly the result of “universal forces”.

  • Serendipity (noun)

    the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way

    “a series of small serendipities”

    “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”

Oxford Dictionary

Leave a Comment