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Is the Mandela effect real?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2018 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 946 times Debate No: 106359
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In this argument, we will not be debating in the first round. For every piece of evidence you have please put your source. Thanks.


I am prepared to debate over the Mandela effect. I hope that you too include sources to support your information.
Debate Round No. 1


The Mandela effect is real. One of the most popular Mandela effects is the Oscar Meyer effect. It used to be Meyer and now it's Mayer. Personally, I believe in this but there are so many other people that believe in this as well. Is it possible for everyone to make a mistake at once without any outside influence? Another similar example of this is Mickey Mouse. Many remember him as a mouse which had red overalls however this isn't true he has had pants strapless from Disney's beginning. There are many other cases referring to the Mandela effect being, in fact, real, and the argument against the Mandela effect is purely based on thousands of people interpreting and forgetting information. Parallel universes seem impossible but not too long ago so did a round earth. Ultimately based on the information and facts shown many could be drawn to the conclusion that the Mandela effect is, in fact, a real phenomenon.



I would like to point out that my opponent used only Buzzfeed and Google as their two sources, and the Google source is just a Google search for images of Mickey Mouse.

Let me tell you, I too believed in the Mandela Effect. I remember seeing a brand called "Oscar Meyer". I remember an old cartoon show called "The Berenstein Bears", but in fact it's spelled "Berenstain". I also thought it was weird that people all over the world remembered things wrong, and as a group!

Let me now explain the theory that supports the idea of the Mandela Effect. The main theory behind the Mandela Effect is the multiverse theory. This theory postulates that there are other parallel universes, that are very similar to our own universe, except with some exceptions- such as the spelling of certain company names or the clothes that MIckey Mouse wears (by the way I've never seen Mickey with red overalls). According to the theory, our universe "collided", or merged with the other parallel world and small differences began popping up.

This theory seems to be pretty logical, but the Mandela Effect is simply a huge example of something that psychologists call "collective false memories". Let me now clarify that I am arguing against the Mandela Effect, not the multiverse theory. I actually believe the multiverse theory is quite possible, but I don't believe the Mandela Effect. Also keep in mind that the multiverse theory was specifically created to explain physics experiments where certain subatomic particles behave like waves when not directly observed, only to start behaving like particles as soon as a measurement. The multiverse theory was NOT created to explain the Mandela Effect, but the lady who started this whole phenomenon, Fiona Broome, believes that it applies for this instance.

Before I explain collective false memories, let me first give a crash course on the neurological function of memory. A memory is made up of a network of neurons in the brain, which store the memory. The physical location of these neurons is often called an "engram" or "memory trace". When a short term memory is transferred to long term memory, it is transferred from temporary storage sites in the hippocampus (which deals with the regulation of emotions and spatial navigation, according to to the prefrontal cortex (responsible for complex behaviors, such as planning. also involved in personality development, according to A 2016 study on human semantic memory shows that similar memories are stored close to each other. In fact, similar words are stored in sections of the brain close to one another, and the arrangement of memories is basically the same from one person to the next. You might think when you remember something, the memory is "strengthened". The actual process is a little more complex than that. basically says that when you remember something, the memory has to be taken apart, which activates the neurons involved, and then put back together again with stronger connections.

Obviously, taking a memory apart, changing it a little bit and adding new connections makes it vulnerable to change. For example, a 2016 study at says that most Americans are taught in their high school history classes that Alexander Hamilton was a founding father, but NOT a president. However, found most Americans falsely believe that Alexander Hamilton was a president. This is due to the fact that if you remember the name "Alexander Hamilton" while also thinking about presidents, both of those engrams (or memory traces) are close together (since they fall under similar topics) and they are both taken apart, the neurons are activated, and the memories are put back together with stronger connections. The problem with this is when this happens, it is very easy for the neurons in the memories to trade places with neurons in nearby memories, especially when the memories are being recalled at about the same time.

Here is another example. A lot of people on the internet falsely remember a film called "Shazaam!" from the 90's starring Sinbad, but they're actually thinking of "Kazaam!", which starred Shaq. Sinbad actually released a film the same year as "Kazaam!". It was called "First Kid," and featured a hero coming to the aid of a wayward boy, just like "Kazaam!" did. In 1995, Sinbad released a movie called "Houseguest," where the movie poster has an image of Sinbad's head sticking out of a mailbox, which could be thematically to the image of a genie coming from a genie for some people. Sinbad is an Arabic name, and the story of Sinbad the Sailor is often associated with encounters with genies. Sinbad's bald head and goatee resemble the stereotypical genie. Sinbad also dressed up similar to a genie when he hosted a movie marathon in the 90s. All of these similar memories would be close together in the brain, and if someone tried to recall them, they would break apart and come back together with new connections, but they would also rearrange neurons from one memory to the other. talks about a Redditor named EpicJourneyMan (EJM), who recalls buying two copies of "Shazaam!" for a VHS store he owned. EJM very clearly remembers two renters who complained of damage to the film, and he clearly remembers having to watch each copy to check for damage. EJM remembers the plot of this film in great detail. This is an example of confabulation. This means that after EJM's brain established the memory of the "Shazaam!" film because of the several associated memories I listed above, his brain had to fill in the empty gaps of his memory. It is amazing how far someone's brain will go to not have to believe that it is wrong. Therefore, after EJM's brain had recalled those similar memories from the 80's and the neurons switched places enough times to make EJM believe that "Shazaam!" was an actual film from the 80's. Because EJM's wanted to feel like it was right at any cost, it literally created the plot of the film out of nowhere, although some elements of the made-up plot might be similar to other films involving genies or magic from the 80's. Confabulation seems to be more common in people who regularly have to recall a specific memory. EJM is one of those people, because he had to watch children's movies over and over again. Therefore, EJM was more likely to create his memory of the plot of the film from nowhere.

The third psychological phenomenon that can cause collective false memories is called suggestibility. Suggestibility means that the human brain can literally create memories in seconds just because of a single question. For example, let's assume there is a guy named Bob who has never thought about any film called "Shazaam!" at all, ever. If you were to walk up to Bob and ask him "Do you remember a film from the 80's starring Sinbad called 'Shazaam!'?", his brain is actually very likely to simply create a memory of a movie from the 80's starring Sinbad called "Shazaam!" This is why judges in court don't allow something they call "leading questions." An example of a leading question would be "Did you see the defendant attack someone with a knife at night in the park?" As I was writing that question on my computer, my brain instantly conjured an image of someone being attacked with a knife in a park. If I were a witness in a court case, I would likely instantly believe that I actually saw this incident happening in real life. is an article that can tell you more about leading questions and eyewitness suggestibility.

It gets even crazier than leading questions. A memory can be altered in large groups of people with the change of a single word! A study from Loftus and Palmer ( gathered 100 people together, and staged a totally fake car crash in front of them. All 100 people were led to believe that the crash was legitimate. Police officers soon arrived on the "scene" and asked the "witnesses" some questions. Some heard the question "How fast were the cars going when they contacted each other?" Some were asked "How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?" Some heard the word "bumped" instead, and some heard "collided" and the rest heard "smashed." The people who heard the word "smashed" reported speeds at an average of 40.8 MPH. The people who heard the word "contacted" reported speeds at an average of 31.8 MPH, because their brains immediately accepted the fact that the car crash was slower if they heard the word "contacted" or faster if they heard "smashed."

So now you see, the Mandela Effect is simply an example of activated neurons confusing themselves and creating new memories mixed with the effects of confabulation and suggestibility.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to first like to address my opponents argument about using BuzzFeed and Google as a source I only used those sources because the majority of people already know what I am trying to represent with the information and it is basic known knowledge not specialized information from researchers.
I would also like to reiterate my opponents crash course on Neurological functions of memory. The brain creates and links new memories with false ones and can create completely different memories before. While keeping this in mind, there was a study conducted at UCL University stating that humans are naturally rebellious, they want to be different and have someone to argue with and be the only one that notices something. ( Since the study was proven true wouldn't there be a 50/50 split on those who believe in the Mandela Effect and those who don't? I did more research on this topic and noticed that there is a myriad of examples illustrating this phenomenon further, politics. There is never a compromise it's either this or that. It's shown in Gun laws (no guns or guns) In Republican or Democrat (rarely any politician is independent).
Another topic I would like to discuss it with my opponents article, "Confabulation is associated with a wide array of neurological disorders, including stroke, brain injury, Alzheimer"s, Korsakoff syndrome, epilepsy, and schizophrenia" Confabulation is in definition "In psychiatry, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a disturbance of memory, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive" The article is saying that most of the people effected with the mandela effect have mental disorders when only 18.2% of the people in America are effected by mental illness. I do understand that sometimes it happens without disorders, however, if 80% of the population (this is an estimation there were no polls I looked) is affected by the Mandela effect there's a pretty large leap from most (18.2%) and some (80%).
I would like to end my argument with again reinstating that there many more examples illustrating the Mandela effect which can again be found in
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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