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

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9780151010981: Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

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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Review:

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"

About the Author:

Dr. Carol Tavris's work as a writer, teacher, and lecturer has been devoted to educating the public about psychological science. She has spoken to students, psychologists, mediators, lawyers, judges, physicians, business executives, and general audiences on, among other topics, self-justification; science and pseudoscience in psychology; gender and sexuality; critical thinking; and anger. In the legal arena, she has given many addresses and workshops to attorneys and judges on the difference between testimony based on good psychological science and that based on pseudoscience and subjective clinical opinion.Elliot Aronson's primary research interests are in the general area of social influence. His experiments have been aimed both at testing theory and at improving the human condition by influencing people to change their dysfunctional attitudes and behavior (e.g., prejudice, bullying, wasting of water, energy and other environmental resources). Professor Aronson is the only psychologist ever to have won APA's highest awards in all three major academic categories: For distinguished writing (1973), for distinguished teaching (1980), and for distinguished research (1999). In 2002, he was listed among the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th Century (APA Monitor, July/August, 2002). In 2007 he received the William James Award for Distinguished Research from APS. Elliot Aronson is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California in Santa Cruz. He has long-standing research interests in social influence and attitude change, cognitive dissonance, research methodology, and interpersonal attraction. Professor Aronson's experiments are aimed both at testing theory and at improving the human condition by influencing people to change dysfunctional attitudes and behaviours. Professor Aronson received his B.A. from Brandeis University in 1954, his M.A. from Wesleyan University in 1956, and his Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University in 1959. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas, and the University of California. In 1999, he won the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, making him the only psychologist to have won APA's highest awards in all three major academic categories: distinguished writing (1973), distinguished teaching (1980), and distinguished research (1999).

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