The Mandela Effect & Public Perception

We decided to create this episode based on a question from one of our newest Patrons. A loaded question that deserves it's own episode, sparking discussion on many different topics like perception, memory and even dreams.

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Fallon in the Facebook Stalker Group - "Here is a fascinating theory of multiple realities or selves, and that sometimes we cross over them. Evidence is sometimes things like how everyone remembers the line as "Luke, I am your father" when in reality that was never spoken; or how many of us will remember growing up reading "The Berenstein Bears" when it's actually "The Betenstain Bears". These a also talk about dejavu, dreams, etc. Lots of ask Reddit threads on this, and an interesting article."

the Mandela Effect

"A collective misremembering of a fact or event." —David Emory

 

Examples of the Mandela Effect:

People will remember in Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vader says "Luke, I am Your Father," when in reality, Darth Vader actually says, "No, I am Your Father."

Also Star Wars Related: C3PO is remembered as a totally gold robot, when actually, he has a silver leg. But public perception remembers it differently. 

In both of these examples, the general message in conveyed and the difference is in the minute details. This is probably the reason that it's so easy to forget what reality is. 

People remember a Sinbad genie movie from the 1990's, but there isn't one.

It was never a thing. In the podcast, Michael and Ryan discuss how this could have happened, speculating that it might be loosely based on the 1990 film "Kazaam" that stars Shaq. 

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As it turns out, the whole thing is based on a very real internet hoax, or Fake News, if you will. A group of students photoshopped a fake Sinbad/Genie VHS tape image and shared it, hoping to recreate memories of people that grew up in the 90s.

 

Sinbad, himself even tweeted about it, proving it's falsehood. College Humor even jumped on the fake news train with this April Fools Video about the 90's Sinbad Genie movie in 2017. 

Another Example: Hannibal Lector never said "Hello, Clarisse" in Silence of the Lambs. But Jim Carrey DID say this line in The Cable Guy, changing public perception for the original event. 

Also, "Beam Me Up Scotty," was never said in the original Back to the Future movie.

Also, the Queen from Snow White never says "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall." In the video below, you can see how she says, "Magic Mirror on the wall..." Though the original story by Brothers Grimm features "Mirror, Mirror on the wall," most of the public knows Snow White from this Disney adaptation, and therefore collectively remembers the line incorrectly.  

This process of taking in and remembering information is formally called "Memory Encoding."

Three ways to remember things:

1. Semantic Encoding Categorize Everything

First demonstrated in 1935, when William Bousfield did an experiment asking people to remember 60 words. He divided the 60 words into four categories of meaning (unbeknownst to the participants, as Bousfield presented the words in random order). Naturally, he found that people would fall into these categories themselves. He found that our brains categorize information automatically in order to organize and better understand our memories. A clear example of this is how easy it is to remember a phone number, while it's very hard to remember a 10-digit number. By grouping this large number into several categories, we are able to remembering them more easily.

2. Visual Encoding

In an early study about visual memory, participants were made to remember a series of words. Some participants were also shown images with each word, while others were left with only the word. The participants that had a visual aid were far more likely to remember the visual cortex is a powerful tool that will always help you remember.

3. Audio Encoding

Following the same trend here, using your sense of hearing will help you remember something. The most common use of this is making a song out of the 50 states, the elements of the periodic table, or even the alphabet song "A,B, C, D, E, F, G..." Songs will trigger memory and act as an aid for memories. Have you ever loved a song, and then not heard it for a long time, and suddenly it pops up one day and your memory will flashback to that time and place in your life? Pay attention, because that trigger will help you remember background things you might have forgotten because your brain hasn't accessed it in so long. 

Many people believe that sleeping and dreaming might be the process of compartmentalizing your life memories into your long-term storage. Like a computer defragging, your brain (while you are asleep) could be stripping your short-term memory of the background or seemingly useless information you don't need right now. This is a form of semantic encoding: our brain is automatically categorizing the information we get, and is attempting to help us store and remember things.

4.  Environmental Memory

Studies show that if you study in the same place that you take your test, you'll be more likely to remember the things you studied. Memories of learning the information are being encoding while you study and learn. 

If you were drunk when you learned something, getting drunk again could help you remember your information. 

5. The more calm you are, the more you will remember. The brain can be EITHER emotional or logical. The two are mutually exclusive. 

 
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Corey Stewart
Designer, Writer & Podcaster
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