..and how to stop it from tricking you.
We've all been in that situation where we need a new mobile phone, and suddenly mobile phone advertisements appear everywhere. Or we're thinking about buying that new Suzuki swift, and suddenly there are hundreds of people driving them.
The part of the brain that is responsible for this phenomenon is called the Reticular Activating System. One of its functions is to filter all the information we receive from our senses, and brings that which is most relevant to our conscious attention.
Yes there actually is a scientific explanation for "The Secret".
This is why goal setting works. If you make a conscious effort to articulate very precisely what you want, your Reticular Activating System will bring to your attention all things relevant to that goal, opening up opportunities.
This is also a component of hypochondria. People become acutely aware of any afflictions that other people would not take seriously or even notice, and associate it to an illness, because that's what is on their mind.
It is also how people think they experience the supernatural or the divine. Their Reticular Activating System makes them aware of anything "abnormal" (or in science words, statistically unlikely), and the person becomes consciously aware of it, and they associate it with a "divine" or "supernatural" experience.
Of course, common sense dictates that events similar in nature occurred in the past, but were not brought to conscious attention, or were not associated with the subject apparent on the mind of the individual.
The more we learn about our brains, the more we can understand our experiences, which can lead to a better understanding of reality. So, be aware of what your brain is doing, you might just notice something you never have before.