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

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By (author) Carol Tavris, By (author) University Emeritus Elliot Aronson

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  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 292 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 23mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 5 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Belmont, CA
  • ISBN 10: 0156033909
  • ISBN 13: 9780156033909
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 81,168

Product 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 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-deception--how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

PRAISE FOR "MISTAKES WERE MADE (BUT NOT BY "ME")""" "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, and--if we're honest--ourselves, and some of the more perplexing mysteries of human nature begin to seem a little clearer."--Francine Prose, "O, The Oprah Magazine " "By turns entertaining, illuminating and--when you recognize yourself in the stories it tells--mortifying."--"The Wall Street Journal"

Back cover copy

"Every page sparkles with sharp insight and keen observation. Mistakes were made--but 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-deception--how 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, and--if we're honest--ourselves, 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.

Flap copy

"Tavris and Aronson have combined their formidable skills to produce a gleaming model of social insight and scientific engagement. Make no mistake, you need to read this book." -- Robert B. Cialdini, author of "Influence: Science and Practice" 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? In this terrifically insightful, engaging new book, 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, "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. Turn the page, but be advised: You will never be able to shun blame quite so casually again.