Were you shocked to find out the Monopoly Man was never drawn with a monocle on? Or that the beloved childrens’ book series was titled ‘The Berenstain Bears’ instead of ‘The Berenstain Bears’? Maybe you even thought Jif peanut butter used to be Jiffy. All of these common instances of people misremembering information are examples of the Mandela Effect.
The Mandela Effect is a psychological phenomena in which multiple people all misremember a specific detail or event. The name originates from one of the most common instances of a group misremembering an event: Nelson Mandela’s death. Many people believed that Nelson Mandela passed away in prison in 1980, and were shocked when the news broke of his actual passing over 30 years later!
There have been multiple memory studies that have suggested that nearly half of all people may not be able to tell false memories from real ones, and this is where the Mandela Effect stems from. People often conform to a larger group’s opinions, and over time they may begin to believe an alternative view or opinion so much that they believe it to be factual. When someone is more inclined to believe an opinion at face value instead of fact-checking it can lead to a widespread of this belief, with many people all believing the same incorrect information.
To avoid this happening more in the future, it is important to do ample research and fact check information. It is also important to analyze your own memories and beliefs to be sure you are not conforming to someone else’s beliefs. Read more about the Mandela Effect and how to avoid it in the infographic below: