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: