The Mandalorian Effect

Nishita Bajaj

Vedika Basu

Nope! I am joking; there is nothing called the 'Mandalorian effect', there is, however, the Mandela effect.

Essentially, the Mandela effect is a situation during which a large group of individuals remember an occasion that really never occurred or a thing that never really was. In psychology, this phenomenon is explained by many aspects of our memory.  While in physics, it is explained by quantum realities and the existence of parallel universes.

This form of collective misremembering of everyday events or details first emerged in 2010, when several people on the web falsely remembered that Nelson Mandela was dead. It had been believed he had died in prison during the 1980s. He was freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013 – despite some people's claims, they remember clips of his funeral on TV, also as an emotional speech by his widow. Paranormal consultant Fiona Broome coined the term in 2009 when she started a website to debate the subject.

Fill within the blanks:

"_____ _____ on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

If you answered "mirror mirror", you would learn you are wrong much to your shock. The evil queen says "Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" Shocked? You are not alone. That's only one example of the Mandela effect, let us check out some more.

If you saw Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back, you almost certainly remember Darth Vader uttering the famous line, "Luke, I am your father." you would possibly be surprised to find out, then, that the line was actually, "No, I am your father." Most people have memories of the line being the former instead of the latter.

I'm sure we all know that the cutest Pokémon is Pikachu, but do you know exactly how he looks? Which of the below pictures is the correct one?

 

If you answered the first one, with the black-tipped tail, YOU'RE WRONG!

If you answered the second one, good job! Here, have a cookie 🍪

I believe the majority of us belong to the first group. Please don't feel bad about it, though; we are all victims of the Mandela effect.

FALSE MEMORIES: 

Memories are complicated. While you would possibly imagine memory as a black or white element, the reality is that memories are subject to vary, malleable, and sometimes unreliable. Events are moved from your brain's temporary memory to permanent storage while you sleep. The transition, however, is not absolute. Elements of the memory could also be lost. This is often where false memories can begin. 

When memories are recalled, instead of remembered flawlessly, they will be influenced by the purpose that they will eventually become completely different. In this way, memory is unreliable and not infallible. False memories are often created by how one frames questions. For example, someone may ask you if the robber was wearing a red mask. You say yes, then quickly correct yourself to say it had been black. The robber was not wearing a mask, but the suggestion that they were planted a memory that was not real. Upon being presented with incomplete information, the brain seeks to fill in blanks. Suppose you see a photograph of an individual you've never met, and mutual friends have shared descriptive details about time spent thereupon person. In that case, you'll start believing you have met that individual.

CONFABULATION: 

Confabulation is a sort of memory error during which gaps in a person's memory are unknowingly crammed with fabricated, misinterpreted, or distorted information. When someone confabulates; they are confusing things they imagined with real memories.

A person who is confabulating is not lying. They're not making a conscious or intentional plan to deceive. Instead, they're confident within the truth of their memories even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Provoked confabulation is the most ordinary sort of confabulation.

It occurs when someone, in response to an issue, creates a false story.

Confabulation is usually related to memory disorders, brain injury or disease, and psychiatric conditions. However, it has also been observed in healthy people with no history of a nervous disorder, mental health condition, or brain damage.

 

Moreover, overlearning can cause certain sorts of information to be present at the forefront of an individual's mind. When specific information looms large in a person's memory, it tends to displace other details. If gaps in memory occur, overlearned information can dominate and force out more specific facts and memories. This will cause memory, distortions and inaccuracies.  

PRIMING:

In psychology, priming is a technique in which the introduction of one stimulus influences how people reply to a subsequent stimulus. Priming works by activating an association or representation in memory just before another stimulus or task is introduced. This phenomenon occurs without our conscious awareness, yet it can severely impact numerous aspects of our everyday lives. For instance, the word 'red' will evoke a faster response to a word like 'blood' instead of an unrelated word like 'sparrow'.

Think of the recent viral Yanny/Laurel phenomenon. It is one example of how priming can influence how you perceive information. A user uploaded an ambiguous sound sample with a poll asking what people heard. Some people distinctly heard "Yanny," while others heard "Laurel." Some people even reported having the ability to switch back and forth between which words they heard.

Due to the aural ambiguity, psychologists suggest that people rely on priming effects to assist determine what they are more likely to hear.

THE ROLE OF THE INTERNET:

The internet and its netizens possess tremendous influence over our minds. We are easily swayed by people online, and therefore social media is a powerful way to spread information like wildfire. In fact, during an extensive study of over 100,000 news stories discussed across Twitter, conducted over ten years, showed that hoaxes and rumours won out over the reality each time by about 70%.

As more and more people confirm your memories, you become more confident of them, and everybody adding all their different spices to the soup makes it so complicated that we start believing it is true.

As Robert Evans once said - 

"There are three sides to each story: Your side, my side, and the truth. And, no one is lying.

Memories shared serve each differently."

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