High School High School Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Mandela Effect: Do You Remember?

Have you ever remembered an event that never happened? Mixing fact from fiction? You may have experienced the Mandela Effect.

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Have you ever remembered an event that never happened? Mixing fact from fiction? You may have experienced the Mandela Effect. The Mandela Effect is when a vivid personal memory conflicts with the actual historical record (1). No one is quite sure why this happens, but quantum physicist Hugh Everett proposed the “Many Worlds” theory (1). His idea is that we are remembering events from alternate realities (1)–although this may be farfetched, he has many supporters. In addition, cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Lotfus performs a TED talk on the unreliability of memory (1). She explains how sometimes, when we are prompted to remember details, we generate false memories based on past experiences (1). This is done subconsciously, and has little effect on most of our lives–but what about when we soon picture deaths that never happened?

This is actually why this phenomenon is called the ’Mandela’ effect. Named by paranormal consultant Fiona Broome because her and several thousands of others shared a common memory: civil rights activist Nelson Mandela died in the 1980’s (2). If you have watched the news in the last two decades you would know this to be false, Mandela died in 2013 and was even president of South Africa in the 1990’s (2). However this phenomena is very common, additional examples include: common children’s book –The Berenstein Bears is actually The Barenstain Bears, Curious George does not have tail, and the queen in Snow White never says “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall” (2) . Crazy eh? Well, how can you try and keep a healthy memory?

Although many home remedies are floating around, there are a few simple activities that never fail: eat healthy, use mnemonics, and repeat what you don’t know (3). Hopefully, you can identify more examples of the Mandela effect around you now, and if you are looking for more–check out this list: https://www.buzzfeed.com/christopherhudspeth/crazy-examples-of-the-mandela-effect-that-will-make-you-ques?utm_term=.fd7doADk4m#.gfwa0d5v47


References

(1) Ludden, David. “Ben Carson and the Mandela Effect.” Psychology Today, 9 Nov. 2015. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-apes/201511/ben-carson-and-the-mandela-effect

(2) Painter, Sally. “The Mandela Effect: An Academic Explanation.” Top Secret Writers, 29 Nov. 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-apes/201511/ben-carson-and-the-mandela-effect

(3) “7 Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp at Any Age.” Harvard Health Publishing, 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/7-ways-to-keep-your-memory-sharp-at-any-age

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