What is it?
The Mandela effect is a term used for when someone mis-remembers an event, name, characters etc. Founded by a paranormal enthusiast, Fiona Broome when she vividly remember, the death of the first president of Africa, Nelson Mandela, in the 1980s while still in prison, when actually he died in the year 2013. A famous example of the Mandela effects include the famous children book ‘Berenstain bears’ which is recalled by many to be spelled as ‘Berenstein Bears’ with an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’.
Proof of Time Travel?
One very famous theory of the Mandela effect is that it is due to time travel. Time travel is the concept of movement through time either to the past or the future. Many have theorized that in some way ‘Time Travelling’ was made possible. Very much like DC’s ‘The Flash’ series or the very famous ‘Back to the Future’ movie, small alteration in the pass could cause minor or major changes in the future. Did Nelson Mandela really die in the 1980s but a time traveler in a distant future when back to prevent this from happening?
Does time travelling sound a little to far-fetch? Another theory is us living in a parallel universe. Parallel universe is an alternate reality from the one we know and live in. It is believed somehow by some mystical force or a science experiment gone wrong everyone was zapped into another dimension where many things were not the way we remember it to be. Some examples includes recalling the dash in ‘KitKat’ which was never actually there or ‘Looney Toons’ instead of ‘Looney Tunes’.
This two theory can be proven by one of Mandela Effect of the show, ‘Sex and The City’. Many of course remembers it as ‘Sex in The City’ which is completely false. One person even uploaded a video on Youtube of merchandise from the show which clearly labels ‘Sex in the City’. Whether it is fake or not, it cannot be told, but I’m pretty sure no one would have the time to print fake labels to prove time travel.
While all this sounds fun and fascinating, science has to ruin the wonders by debunking theories. So, of course realist would insist time travelling and alternate universe is not a possible reason. Scientist has come out with the concept of false memory to explain this phenomenon. False memory is when a person recalls something which did not happen.
How this occur?
Our brains, as amazing as it is, only recall tiny pieces of information and it can potentially our memory to alter parts of it. This is a common phenomenon for the average people. For example, you had bacon and eggs for breakfast, but later in the day you recall and insist you had sausage and eggs. Some other way is through a person language, when someone conveys a false message in a confident and detailed manner, we would conceive it to be true. This is also evident from another concept called conformity, when an individual opinion follows a group of people only to not feel left out or fit in. As majority described an event as not true, others would tend to agree on to it.
Recalling memory could might not be as reliable as we would expect. It is explained using a few concepts, one such as presupposition where the phrasing of a question could produce a true effect (Easily recalled memory) or false effect (Altered memory). Another concept is construction hypothesis, where a true or false piece of information is provided to the respondent, altering their answers. Then, there is the skeleton theory, which splits into two process; acquisition and retrieval process. Briefly, acquisition is the process of which one focus on a small information of a big picture and translating it into description, subjecting to external information which can alter a memory and the second process, the retrieval process is when one regenerate a memory which is then link to a statement response, possibly altering a memory. Lastly, relational processing, is the concept of someone making a statement base on personal experience or general perception of something. To understand more on this here is a link
Relation to Mandela Effect?
False memory is a common occurrence among the masses, it not unusual for us to recall something that does not exist. Language is one example of a false memory, like when many remembers it is spelled ‘Macdonald’ when there is actually no ‘A’ in ‘Mac’ or ‘Febreeze’ which actually only have one ‘E’ in the middle instead of two. It is actually possible we recall it to be spelled this way because of the way we pronounce it and also cause it sounds right. Also, like how we pronounce ‘Looney Tunes’ as ‘Looney Toons’ so we believe it is spelled as ‘Toons instead of ‘Tunes’
What about ‘Curious George’ which many insist has a tail or the straps on ‘Mickey Mouse’ strapless overalls? This could be due to a general inference that monkeys have tails and overalls have straps, making many believes the same is or should be applied to this characters.
Then of course, the death of Mandela in 1980s. Could just be that we did not hear anything about him for so long we presume he is dead. Broome also said she could remember every detail of the funeral which is possibly memories recalled from another funeral. Or not? Time travel could actually be real