When people hear about Mandela Effects, in which groups of individuals report remembering events differently from recorded historical records, some suggest as a possible explanation that Mandela Effect reporters are possibly experiencing false memories. The implication of Mandela Effects being “false” is made based on the assumption that whatever events are recorded are defined automatically as being “true,” so therefore people must be mistaken in thinking that they remember specific things that are different from recorded historical facts. No mention is typically made that a presumption to call Mandela Effects “false” memories assumes a bias in favor of a classical physics view of reality–which is a view of reality that has started to look somewhat shakier recently.
The connection between “false memory” and “Mandela Effect” have become so strong in recent articles and in a large number of mainstream media posts that the current definition for “false memory” on Wikipedia currently includes mention of the “Mandela Effect” on its “False Memory” Wikipedia page, with this excerpted passage provided as an example:
In 2010 this phenomenon of collective false memory was dubbed the “Mandela Effect” by self-described “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome, in reference to a false memory she reports, of the death of South African leader Nelson Mandela in the 1980s (rather than in 2013 when he actually died), which she claims is shared by “perhaps thousands” of other people. Broome has speculated about alternate realities as an explanation, but most commentators suggest that these are instead examples of false memories shaped by similar factors affecting multiple people, such as social reinforcement of incorrect memories, or false news reports and misleading photographs influencing the formation of memories based on them.
The association between “false memory” and “Mandela Effect” is thus presented as “false memory” now being expanded beyond original usage to presume the same types of causes for false memories (ie: Construction hypothesis for malleability of memory, or Skeleton theory).
For those of us who have experienced shifts in reality, either with others or alone, and either intended (quantum jumps) or unintended (reality shifts and Mandela Effects), we can gain additional information with regard to better understanding what is going on.
Mandela Effects affecting large groups of people generally represent unexpected, unintended shifts that highlight differences between the historically recorded events that “actually happened” and what these groups of people expect to see when viewing historical records.
Our problem-solving ability relies upon our awareness of distinctions between what “actually” happened and what we “expect,” so by observing more about both of these areas, we can learn more about what is going on with Mandela Effects. We can observe details through observation that, for example, we might see groups of people with similar “Mandela Effects” grouped geographically for something like remembering Nelson Mandela’s death–but other times, we might observe groupings of observers are not based on geography, but instead some other factor.
For example, with regard to people remembering when they first heard of Nelson Mandela having died, there is a tendency for South Africans’ memories to coincide with official historical recorded accounts, whereas people living outside of South Africa are more likely to have seen earlier reports of his death. This is not to say that everyone living outside South Africa will remember Nelson Mandela dying prior to 2013, but rather that very few, if any, South Africans will report this particular Mandela Effect (the very one that the “Mandela Effect” is named after).
In contrast with this local area Mandela Effect, a more recent type of reality shift, such as the one in which many people noticed that the official historical location for kidneys is no longer in the lower back, as they remembered, but rather higher up, closer to the lower ribcage. Those least likely to report this physiological change don’t include a geographically clustered group this time, but rather doctors, nurses, and medical professionals.
“The kidneys are bean-shaped organs (about 11 cm x 7 cm x 3 cm) that are located against the back muscles in the upper abdominal area. They sit opposite each other on both the left and right side of the body; the right kidney, however, sits a little lower than the left to accommodate the size of the liver.”
“A kidney punch is a punch that occurs usually when the fighters clinch. It is a hit that goes into the lower back, to the kidney area. It is illegal because of its high danger level to health.”
Memory–particularly subconscious memory–is sometimes compared with a “black box,” because memory processes are not obvious, and we can mostly only guess at they operate. Various theories thus arise, with some of the newest theories incorporating concepts from quantum physics, such as is described in Jerome Busemeyer and Peter Bruza’s excellent book, “Quantum Models of Cognition and Decision.”
When considering a possible quantum explanation for the Mandela Effect, we can thus consider the way that certain groupings of people divided in different ways (sometimes geographically grouped, sometimes grouped based on occupation) sometimes recall different histories than any current historical factual evidence can be found for–aside from artist’s recollections indicating some such history exists.
While critics may point out that such an explanation seems convoluted, the presence of macroscopic quantum jumps actually provides an operational mechanism for such things as the placebo effect, and is more practically aligned with any true physical “theory of everything” thanks to incorporating quantum phenemona (such as macro scale quantum jumps).
You can watch the companion video to this blog post at:
“Nelson Mandela Died in Prison? – Mandela Effect”. Mandela Effect. 2010-09-09. .
“Collective False Memories: What’s Behind the ‘Mandela Effect’?”. The Crux. 2017-02-16. .
“21 Mandela Effect Examples List To Get You Thinking”. BuzzFyre. 2017-02-16. .
“Does this picture look a bit off to you?”. NewsComAu. .
“On a Grandma’s House and the Unknowability of the Past”. Pacific Standard. 2017-02-09. .
Brown, Adam D.; Kouri, Nicole; Hirst, William (2012-07-23). “Memory’s Malleability: Its Role in Shaping Collective Memory and Social Identity”. Frontiers in Psychology. 3. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC . PMID 22837750. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00257.
“Can groups of people “remember” something that didn’t happen?”. Hopes&Fears. .