Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

3.8 22
by Carol Tavris
     
 

ISBN-10: 0156033909

ISBN-13: 2900156033908

Pub. Date: 05/05/2008

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell?

Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot…  See more details below

Overview

Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell?

Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right -- a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong.

Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception -- how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.

About the Authors
CAROL TAVRIS is a social psychologist and author of Anger and The Mismeasure of Woman. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Scientific American, and many other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.

ELLIOT ARONSON is a social psychologist and author of The Social Animal. The recipient of many awards for teaching, scientific research, writing, and contributions to society, he is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900156033908
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/05/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304

Table of Contents

Introduction: Knaves, Fools, Villains, and Hypocrites: How Do They Live with Themselves?     1
Cognitive Dissonance: The Engine of Self-justification     11
Pride and Prejudice ... and Other Blind Spots     40
Memory, the Self-justifying Historian     68
Good Intentions, Bad Science: The Closed Loop of Clinical Judgment     97
Law and Disorder     127
Love's Assassin: Self-justification in Marriage     158
Wounds, Rifts, and Wars     185
Letting Go and Owning Up     213
Afterword     237
Endnotes     239
Index     277

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