Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
- Publish Date: 2015-10-20
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Carol Tavris;Elliot Aronson
âEntertaining, illuminating andâwhen you recognize yourself in the stories it tellsâmortifying.â âWall Street Journal
âEvery page sparkles with sharp insight and keen observation. Mistakes were madeâbut not in this book!â âDaniel Gilbert, author ofÂ Stumbling on Happiness
Why is it so hard to say âI made a mistakeââand really believe it?
When we make mistakes, cling to outdated attitudes, or mistreat other people, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so, unconsciously, we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and rightâa belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong. Backed by years of research,Â Mistakes Were Made (But Not byÂ Me)Â offers a fascinating explanation of self-justificationâhow it works, the damage it can cause, and how we can overcome it. This updated edition features new examples and concludes with an extended discussion of how we can live with dissonance, learn from it, and perhaps, eventually, forgive ourselves.
âA revelatory study of how lovers, lawyers, doctors, politiciansâand all of usâpull the wool over our own eyes . . . Reading it, we recognize the behavior of our leaders, our loved ones, andâif weâre honestâourselves, and some of the more perplexing mysteries of human nature begin to seem a little clearer.â âFrancine Prose,Â O, The Oprah Magazine