How the Mandela Effect Affects Your Memories (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing 

Did you know that 30% of people could be convinced of experiencing a false autobiographical event? False memories are actually quite common in people and can come from the tendency to believe or imagine something is real or forgetting the true source of where a memory comes from. It is interesting to know that false memories don’t just occur in singular people, they can affect groups as well.

The psychological phenomena in which a large group of people misremember a specific detail or event is known as the Mandela Effect. Some popular examples of this are people remembering  Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood lyrics incorrectly, remembering the Monopoly Man having a monocle when he never did, or believing that Jif peanut butter is actually ‘Jiffy’. Many people report all misremembering the same details, but why?

The most widely accepted explanation of the Mandela Effect is simply the need to conform. When a group of people hold a belief it is more likely that another person will agree with them simply to feel as though they fit in. As time passes this need to conform can trigger false memories, source-memory errors, or imagination inflation. All of these elements together could be the reason behind the Mandela Effect.

While some people are still hesitant to believe our memories can be so easily fooled, recent studies have shown that 76% of adults fail to recall information correctly.  Knowing this,the Mandela Effect could be the gateway to discovering more about the human mind. While we still know little about human memory, it is important to understand how to avoid the Mandela Effect in your own life.

One of the easiest ways to make sure the information you are receiving is accurate is to fact-check. Getting information from multiple sources will not only help prove it is true, but will encourage you to not believe things at face value or to theorize without having hard evidence. It can also be helpful to create documentation of life events or important information so that the risk of false memory or source memory errors occur. 

It is also important to understand that the Mandela Effect can happen to anyone. While it shouldn’t make you feel ashamed or embarrassed that you misremembered an event or detail, it should prove how important it is to analyze information critically. To learn more about the Mandela Effect and how to avoid it in your life, take a look at the infographic below:

Mandela Effect
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Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.