Saturday Jan 18th, 2020

Mandela Effect, False Memories?

Nelson Mandela He died on December 2013, XNUMX due to the effects of a respiratory infection. The death of the first president of color of South Africa and one of the main icons of the fight against apartheid occurred at his home after a prolonged period of agony at ninety-five years of age, being collected by most major means Communication.

However, there are a large number of people who were surprised by this fact, stating that they remember that the former South African president died in prison and even declaring to recall scenes of his funeral. It is not an isolated case, but on other occasions a similar phenomenon has been reported in which some people remember things that in principle have not happened. Although there are numerous cases prior to the death of the South African president, this phenomenon has been called Mandela effect.

The Mandela Effect

The Mandela effect was named for Fiona Broome, researcher and passionate about the paranormal, who would receive with great surprise the news of the death of Nelson Mandela. The reason for the surprise is that Broome vividly remembered his death and its consequences, as well as his funeral, many years before the real death. And not only her, but other people said they remember the same. Later the debate would be transferred to the Internet, where numerous people would share similar experiences.

Thus, with effect Mandela refers to those situations in which multiple people seem to remember, in a similar or even identical way to each other, phenomena that have not occurred or that do not coincide with the real historical data. For these people, their memory is real and true, as is the fact that they are currently receiving information that contradicts that memory and appears to be true.

Other examples of this effect

Mirror Mirror….

If we asked someone what the evil Snow White stepmother told the mirror in search of acceptance of her beauty, many would answer with the phrase “mirror mirror, tell me who is the most beautiful in the kingdom". However, in reality Maleficent never used the words "mirror mirror" in the Disney classic, but called it directly "magic mirror."

Luke I am your father

Following the movie phrases, I could not miss the famous phrase of Darth Vader, sung in Spanish by the great Constantine Romero: “Luke I am your father!". However, neither Constantine nor James Earl Jones, in charge of the English voice, pronounced the name of the confused Luke, so the actual phrase was a simple "I am your father"

The Simpsons.

Everyone knows these nice yellow characters. However, does Homer's last name, Bart and company end in S? No. They really are The Simpsons, without S.

See that in the original English version the series is called as 'The Simpsons' but its translation into Spanish is 'The Simpsons', although everyone calls them 'The Simpsons'.

We Are The Champions ... of the world.

Queen's well-known song quickly comes to mind. But could you tell me how it ends? It ends with an "of the world", right? Well, no.

The Thinker.

Auguste Rodin's famous sculpture, The Thinker, is remembered by everyone. However, many people remember this thinking person with the palm of their hand on their forehead. The reality is that it is resting on the chin.

Looney Toons

Do you know these cute cartoons led by Bugs Bunny? Ok, well, it's not Toons, it's Looney Tunes.

Mickey Mouse.

Become a mental image of the most famous mouse in the world. You got it? Now tell me, do you wear suspenders? Surely you say yes, but ... no, Mickey doesn't wear suspenders.

To be or not to be, that is the question ... but without skull

After the famous balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet, one of the most famous scenes of the plays written by William Shakespeare would be that "to be or not to be", in which Hamlet declares with a skull in his hand.

But in reality Shakespeare never described that image that comes to everyone in the mind. Actually, during the phrase Hamlet does not carry anything in his hand, while the skull appears later.

Pikachu's tail

When thinking about the image of this famous yellow Pokémon it is very typical to think of it with a dark stripe going through its tail. However, just look it up on the internet to verify that only the base darkens.

The knight without monocle

Something similar to Pikachu happens with the main character of Monopoly. One of the first images that appear in the mind of who thinks it is that of a knight with a monocle, but in reality the initial image does not carry this complement.

Attempts to explain the effect

The attempt to explain this phenomenon has provoked a wide debate, several attempts to explain from various theories and perspectives.

Some people have relied on the theory of multiple universes to try to explain the Mandela effect, proposing that its motive can be found in the overlapping of the time lines of different alternative realities. Thus, what happened in this reality would be combined with that of another, appearing in the memory of people an event that in our reality would not have happened yet or that under certain circumstances could have occurred.

In addition, some start from quantum theory to consider that this effect is due to the possible displacement of our consciousness through these alternate universes. When faced with the real fact of the current universe, it appears puzzled due to the dissociation between what has been remembered and what is being reported, both being totally credible memories for the subject.

Within this current, other people seem to consider that the Mandela effect is the product of the opening of portals between parallel universes due to collisions between particles that occur in the CERN. Both perspectives are based only on speculation, and are rejected by the vast majority of researchers in psychology and neurosciences.

Another current of thought seems to indicate that the causes of the Mandela effect can be found in an attempt of control and mental manipulation by government agencies, introducing false information for uncertain purposes.

Finally, another explanation offered by some people is based on the fact that we live in a programmed reality, in which from time to time there are modifications that alter our internal programming and leave traces of our previous state.

Psychological explanation of the Mandela effect

Although the multiple theories in this regard may be of great interest, this phenomenon is explainable from psychology. Specifically, the origin of the Mandela effect can be found in a series of mental processes related to a malfunction or distortion of memory.

The presence of a Mandela effect is not indicative of the person lying about what he remembers. For this, the memory is very real, the memory as such exists. However, the origin of this effect can be found in the interference of other information or the creation of memory fragments with which the memory of events is filled.

The reason for the generation of these memories can be found in that the memory is largely constructive, remembering the main elements that were part of a scene and then mentally reconstruct them when we need to recover the memory. From this, it is simple that the introduction of new elements a posteriori or interference other thoughts, memories or beliefs can cause a false memory.

Some of the mental phenomena that can explain the Mandela effect are the following.

1. The collusion

The phenomenon by which human beings fill the different gaps present in our memory with manufactured memories, unconsciously. Based on a real memory, the individual develops and creates different spaces and fragments of memory. In most cases, the generation of these fragments is not carried out with the intention of deceiving others, but the individual himself believes that his memory is such.

2. External induction of memories

The fact that multiple people agree on the same memory may be due to the fact that it is not impossible to induce a false memory in other people. In fact, it has been shown that hypnotic or suggestion-based processes can induce them with some ease. Through the language and according to what kind of questions are asked regarding a specific situation, the person analyzed can modify their internal perception of the remembered facts, as demonstrated by the psychologist Elizabeth Loftus.

3. Cryptomnesia

Linked to the previous point we can find the phenomenon called cryptomnesia, which allows a memory to be experienced as something lived for the first time due to the presence of confusion regarding its origin. Consider as our own an idea or information that we have read, seen or heard, so that we can identify as memory something that has come through us by confusing the memory of what we have thought or perceived with the actual memory of the facts.

With this, a person can identify the belief of another as their own elaboration, so that it is possible to expand the same idea without it being considered as coming from others.


Theme suggested by: Monse Rosales, María R de Espriella, Javier Guerra and Jose Hernandez

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