In 1993 the writer, Grateful Dead lyricist, and Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow defined Pronoia as “the suspicion the Universe is a conspiracy on your behalf”. In the same decade, the psychologist Fraser Clark, founder of the Zippies (whom Barlow was also involved with), referred to pronoia as “the sneaking hunch that others are conspiring behind your back to help you.” Once you have contracted this benevolent virus, he said, the symptoms include “sudden attacks of optimism and outbreaks of goodwill.”

On July 13, 2018, in response to Donald Trump’s claim that the British “love him”, actor John Cleese of Monty Python fame explained in a series of tweets:

“My American friends are asking me about President Trump’s observation that the British ‘like him’. I regret this is quite unfounded. The explanation for this canard is that Trump is pronoid. Pronoid is the opposite of paranoid. A paranoid person thinks, without any basis in reality, that everybody is out to get them. A pronoid person is someone who thinks, without any basis in reality, that everybody likes them.”

J.D. Salinger referred to the concept later to be called pronoia in his 1955 novella, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. In it, the character Seymour Glass writes in his diary, “Oh, God, if I’m anything by a clinical name, I’m a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.“

Susan Sarandon added her thoughts to a common phrase used in the second half of the 20th century, "Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” by adding that: “You just assume that the universe is conspiring for you, not against you…I think that the more you expect that, the more it actually works out.”

The idea of pronoia is well pronounced throughout Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and particularly when the protagonist, a young boy, is told by an older man to pursue his dreams: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”