During the 1980s, author, researcher and paranormal consultant Fiona Broom, along with thousands of other people, were wholeheartedly convinced that South African president Nelson Mandela died in prison when in reality, he died 30 years later in 2013. This collective misremembering of events spurred Fiona Broom to propose the existence of the Mandela Effect, which is described as a collective misremembering of events that did not occur or occurred in a different way than remembered. However, the Mandela Effect is invalid because a variety of factors can account for why people may misremember an event. Humans tend to believe what makes more sense, not what is necessarily factual. Likewise, people are easily convinced of what they are told. Additionally, information becomes altered as it is passed along to others, contributing to the spread of false information.
To begin with, people are prone to believing what is familiar to them. For example, a common conspiracy theory used to support the Mandela Effect is the controversy over the title of the children’s book and TV series, The Berenstain Bears. A majority of people find it shocking that all these years they believed it was spelled “Berenstein” with an ‘e’ rather than an ‘a.’ Many people believe this exemplifies the Mandela Effect, a divergence between their personal perceptions and reality. However, a simple explanation to this misconception is that popular Jewish last names, such as Burnstein, often end in ’ein’, and people consequently assume that “Berenstein” is the correct spelling because it sounds the most familiar and thus makes the most sense to them.
In the 21st century, there are countless ways to obtain information. By neglecting to investigate a wide variety of sources, one may unintentionally avoid reasoning that disproves the Mandela Effect. For instance, to satisfy their curiosity, people often choose to read articles on certain sites through Google to find answers to their inquiries. However, Google is an open platform with websites that contain biased information about situations depending on the keywords used. An untailored search leading to a biased article can result in the reader adopting unnoticed biases themselves.
Consequently, people can easily receive false information without realizing it, whether it be from something heard from a friend or coworker to something read on social media. This is exemplified by the common remembrance of the line “No, I am your father” from Star Wars. Due to social media and constant incorrect assumptions, even those who have not watched Star Wars believe the line is “Luke, I am your father.” Like a game of telephone, this line was unintentionally and falsely spread, and people consequently accept the false quote spoken by Darth Vader as truth. When a person’s memory of a topic is hazy, the source that he or she falls back on can be very influential. Simply hearing a claim from another person may taint one’s own memory, especially if he or she was unsure about the situation to begin with.
In the eyes of many people, the Mandela Effect is an easy and exciting excuse to explain people’s alternate perception of reality. The things that make more sense to the human ear, information gathered from others and the biased ideas read off of the internet all account for reasons why the Mandela Effect can be disproved. No one should worry that life has unknown aspects. Paying more attention to details is an easy way to avoid situations described as the Mandela Effect.