Unheimlichkeit

The psychological concept of the uncanny as something that is strangely familiar, rather than just mysterious, was perhaps first fixed by Sigmund Freud in his essay Das Unheimliche.

Because the uncanny is familiar, yet incongruous, it has been seen as creating cognitive dissonance within the experiencing subject, due to the paradoxical nature of being simultaneously attracted to yet repulsed by an object. This cognitive dissonance often leads to an outright rejection of the object, as one would rather reject than rationalize, as in the uncanny valley effect.