Listen&Learn: The Mandela Effect

Jaksyn Peacock
How groups of people can share memories that aren’t real.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • phenomenon: a situation that is hard to explain
  • coverage: media reports of an event
  • insist: to argue persistently that something is true
  • theory: an attempt to explain why something happens
  • multiverse: the idea that there are many universes with different versions of events
  • influence: to affect or change something
  • individual: a single person

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Mandela Effect is a strange phenomenon where large groups of people seem to share the same false . The effect is named after former South African Nelson Mandela. This is because many people say that they remember news coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death back in the 1980s, even though Mandela did not die until 2013. There are many well-known examples of the Mandela Effect. Some people remember song lyrics or movie lines . Many people insist that the famous Mona Lisa didn’t always have a smile on her face. This effect has caused some people to form theories about the multiverse. However, the most reasonable for the Mandela Effect is that the opinions of a group can easily influence an individual. This can affect our thoughts, our , and even our memories.

Comprehension questions

1. A false memory shared by many people is

Correct! Wrong!

A false memory shared by many people is that Nelson Mandela's death was on the news in the 1980s.

2. The Mandela Effect has caused some people to wonder about

Correct! Wrong!

The Mandela Effect has caused some people to wonder about the possibility of other universes

3. A reasonable explanation for the Mandela effect is that

Correct! Wrong!

A reasonable explanation for the Mandela effect is that group opinions can affect the memories of individuals.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Have you ever experienced something like the Mandela Effect? Do you remember anything that didn’t actually happen?
  2. Do you believe in alternate universes? Why or why not?

Transcript

The Mandela Effect is a strange phenomenon where large groups of people seem to share the same false memories. The effect is named after former South African president Nelson Mandela. This is because many people say that they remember news coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death back in the 1980s, even though Mandela did not die until 2013. There are many well-known examples of the Mandela Effect. Some people remember song lyrics or movie lines incorrectly. Many people insist that the famous Mona Lisa didn’t always have a smile on her face. This effect has caused some people to form theories about the multiverse. However, the most reasonable explanation for the Mandela Effect is that the opinions of a group can easily influence an individual. This can affect our thoughts, our beliefs, and even our memories. 

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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