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Mandela effect

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

The Mandela effect is an observed phenomenon in which a large segment of the population misremembers a significant event or shares a memory of an event that did not actually occur. Fiona Broome, a paranormal researcher, coined the term to describe collective false memory when she discovered that a significant number of people at a conference she was attending in 2010 shared her memory that Nelson Mandela had died in prison during the 1980s. In fact, the former president of South Africa was released from prison in 2009 and was very much alive at the time of the conference.

According to quantum theory enthusiasts, the Mandela effect presents evidence that parallel universes do exist. In psychology, however, the effect is sometimes compared to déjà vu and can be explained by the human capacity for confabulation: an unintentional distortion of memory. Confabulated memories, which are often associated with the brain's frontal lobes, may seem every bit as clear and detailed as events that have actually happened and are not intentionally created to deceive.

The Mandela effect is relevant to project management and human resources, as well as other areas of business. Common examples in include clients that have memories of deliverables and requirements that the vendor never promised and employees who complete assignments that bear no resemblance to what they were asked to do because don't remember the specifics correctly. Careful documentation is essential to ensure that details of agreements are clearly specified and not open to interpretation. In cases where specified details are not adhered to, the documentation can serve as proof of the original agreement.

Psychological concepts related to the Mandela effect:

This was last updated in April 2018

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How essential is comprehensive documentation to the success of IT projects?
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Storyboards are top priority - even in IT.
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Not sure why you shared this video tho. The one issue he doesn't seem to address at all, is the actors and/or authors themselves. I understand the "false memory" for the general public, but why would the actors themselves remember their lines wrong that made them famous in interviews? Why would the author of their own book misquote the title? That type of psychology shouldn't apply to them so heavily.. and I don't buy the, "It's Hollywood and Drugs" excuse either. He's also being dismissive of the existence parallel universes. As far as I know, the changes are suppose to be very subtle.. with the "and" vs "the" and such. But a very weird one is Silence of the Lamb.. going from "Hello Clarice" to "Good Morning" is far from subtle. It's just a complete different memory all together. And again, why would the actor himself have a false memory of his own lines that made him very famous, even after all the other movies he did beforehand, that put him over the top.. so there's no reason why he would remember it wrong. Not like the rest of us.
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In fact, Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990...not 2009.
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An excellent analysis of the so-called "Mandela effect".  I would like to add that I worked with individuals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and their families for years.  Individuals with FAS are notable for deficits in memory/reasoning/judgement.  I have observed, and I have heard there was a study done in the L.A. area that demonstrated such, that there is a tendency on the part of "normal" people to acquiesce to the position of someone with FAS (I apologize, I can't cite source). My theory is that this is due to, possibly, a combination of the strength of a "single-minded" position (that held by the person with FAS) which is rigid and incapable of change along with some desire or need on the part of most people to be socially acceptable. 
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