In an era with an endless amount of information available, it seems hard to believe that misinformation would become as prevalent as it has. Yet this is the reality of the world today. There is, of course, purposeful and ill intentioned misinformation being spread, but a lot of it is just due to mistakes.
One of the most prominent examples of these mistakes is the Mandela Effect. Remember when Nelson Mandela died in 1980, well, he didn’t. Remember the Berenstein Bears, well, it’s really the Berenstain Bears. Remember the iconic line “Luke, I am your father”, well it’s actually “No, I am your father”. These aren’t just mistakes made by one or two friends, it’s a phenomenon.
How could this come to be? There are references to the line “Luke, I am your father” in other forms of popular media. People are confident that they have old sets of Monopoly where the Monopoly man most certainly had a monocle (he doesn’t). It’s not that these people are dumb, anyone reading this may be suprised themselves. The mind is simply an imperfect thing.
Memory is supposed to replicate reality, it’s meant to be a useful tool to build a world view upon, yet this isn’t always the case. People are vulnerable to replicating what a group they identify with thinks, to false memories, to priming, remembering the memory of the memory better than the memory itself. People are imperfect.
All any one individual can do is their best. Try to really analyze where a memory comes from, analyze information with depth and scrutiny, and try not to fall for any of the psychological tricks that are intentionally and unintentionally abused today. Anyone can fall for a case of mistaken memory, but it takes a lot to make a phenomenon.
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