The Thatcher Effect Is The Mandela Effect’s Freaky Cousin

by : Daniel Richardson on : 18 Jun 2021 15:05
The Thatcher Effect Is The Mandela Effect’s Freaky Cousindrjuliesmith/TikTok

Perspective can alter the way we interpret reality, and a psychologist has shown TikTok a strange visual effect to demonstrate this. 

Dr Julie Smith is a psychologist who discusses the inner workings of the mind on TikTok; known as @drjuliesmith on the platform, she has managed to develop a loyal viewer base and has more than 2.8 million followers tuning in for her eye-opening facts.


The psychologist showed viewers a very unusual effect called the ‘Thatcher effect’ recently, and it is boggling the minds of viewers.

Check out the strange video below:


The video begins by showing the familiar faces of Adele, Barack Obama and Kanye West. Smith then instructs viewers to watch the video again and flip their phones to experience the Thatcher effect. The result is pretty unsettling as the well-known faces appear contorted.


In response to the video, commenters wrote, ‘It actually scared the hell out of me,’ and, ‘That’s really cool but it’s 2 am and now I’m terrified.’ Others were quite smug as they noted they already knew about the effect and weren’t surprised by the changing faces.

The Thatcher effect wasn’t formed by the British prime minister in the 1980s; instead, it was a finding by Peter Thompson, Professor of Psychology, at the University of York. Thompson found that when images were flipped it was difficult for people to detect local features and recognise who they were looking at even though the changes are seemingly obvious.

The effect is named after Margaret Thatcher because she was in the image that was used to illustrate this phenomenon. The Mandela Effect, meanwhile, refers to a phenomenon in which a large group of people believe certain events have happened that never actually took place.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. These included the likes of The Hook, WhatCulture and Game Rant. Eventually, Dan found a home for his journalism at UNILAD.

Topics: Viral, Now, Psychology, TikTok