Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts Paperback – May 5 2008
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From the Back Cover
Every page sparkles with sharp insight and keen observation. Mistakes were madebut not in this book! Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness 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? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deceptionhow it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it. "Hypocrisy is hardest to see in oneself. Tavris and Aronson, both social psychologists, demonstrate the whys and hows of this maxim by blending research with anecdotal evidence from celebrities, presidents, and CEOs."--Psychology Today "Thanks, in part, to the scientific evidence it provides and the charm of its down-to-earth, commonsensical tone, Mistakes Were Made is convincing. Reading it, we recognize the behavior of our leaders, our loved ones, andif we're honestourselves, and some of the more perplexing mysteries of human nature begin to seem a little clearer."Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine 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. Visit www.MistakesWereMadeButNotByMe.com.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Mistakes Were Made provides some wonderful insight into how the human mind works -- and how it often fails to work. No system is perfect, and the human mind, for all its abilities, is certainly no exception to that rule. Yet, by understanding the way the mind works, and the mistakes we are prone to make, we can learn to reduce those mistakes and improve ourselves. Everyone should read this book.
In particular, the authors posit that most problems arise when we make a series of incremental self-justifications. This way, it's nearly impossible to know (at the time) when we've passed the point of justifiable belief (the belief can be factual but is more often moral or ethical). For instance, if a pharmaceutical company outright approached a doctor and asked him/her to preferentially prescribe their new drug in exchange for payment, the doctor would probably refuse on ethical grounds. But say the pharmaceutical company first hires the doctor to give a community lecture on depression and mental health—this seems acceptable. Next, they hire the doctor to give a community lecture on anti-depressants—well, this isn't so ethically different from the last lecture, the doctor thinks. Finally, the pharmaceutical company hires the doctor to give a lecture on *their* new antidepressant. The doctor compares the ethics of this new prospect with the last lecture he/she gave, rationalizes it as only a small, incremental change, and proceeds to shill for the compnay's new drug in exchange for payment. Somewhere along the line we would say an ethical line was crossed, but for the doctor, every step has been incremental and no decision stands out as that much worse than the last. A similar example comes from the Milgram experiment.Read more ›
Self justification is a scary thing we do to preserve our ego and even ourselves. It's more powerful than a lie and it is absolutely more dangerous than a lie because we're not conscious that we're doing it.
This is such an excellent book for revealing why we do that as humans, helping you see where you might be hiding the truth from yourself and understanding how it plays into your attempts to influence others. The research covered in this book is great ... not too scientific but detailed enough that you understand what the point is.
For a business person or anyone interested in human psychology, but not wanting a hard read, this book will be highly satisfying for you!
From business to home (there is an entire chapter dedicated to how this plays into marriages) - this book will equip you with useful insights into the human mind and behaviors around mistakes and justifications for them. And you'll be in a better position to learn from your mistakes and help influence others when they are dead wrong too. :)
Most recent customer reviews
This book is an eye opener, an unobstructed view of self. I have learned the "why" behind so many of my own mistakes.
Highly recommended this book to... Well, everyone!
Simply written . Easy read . Well researched .
It is only worth reading if you are ready to loosen your attachments to your own belief systems otherwise leave it on the... Read more
Cognitive Dissonance was something I never understood until i read this book. I heard it in a YouTube rant once and so I decided to check it out and I was not disappointed. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2013 by Trent Norman Ross Gillespie
If you really want to consider how you really,really make choices, you must read this excellent book.
You will quickly recognize the truth of our decision making!
Information to help with self evaluation and how we are influenced by others. Who owns the mistake? Read it to find out.Published on March 19 2013 by Sharon H
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