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

ISBN-10: 0151010986
ISBN-13: 9780151010981
Edition: 2007
List price: $25.00
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 5/7/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 7.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

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.

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

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