Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
This book explains cognitive dissonance and the related concept of self-justification. The research underpinning these theories is presented, with case examples which range from big political decisions which start wars to interpersonal conflicts which all of us deal with in our everyday lives. The easy and seductive part of the book is fitting the theories to the behaviour of people we know - it explains a lot. The tricky part is to keep reminding yourself that it is equally applicable to your own behaviour and may also explain a lot about you. With any luck it will help people to recognise their own mistakes and avoid making similar mistakes in future. Even if it doesn't change your life or improve your relationships, it's an interesting read and an easy way to learn some basic Psychology. Marsha Mercant has a very pleasant voice and does a very good job as narrator.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
"Mistakes, who me? Not very often! I'm pretty perfect most of the time."
This book was a bit scary to me because it shook the foundations of many of my beliefs.
This book debunks many of all our common beliefs. For me, that my memories are reliable it is I who remember what really happened, unlike my brother and my hubby, who were there but must have memory problems. Not so, apparently. It seems my memories are as faulty and unreliable as anyone else's.
For me, that my sister-in-law adds to and embellishes her family history, more and more every year, but I certainly don't do that! Apparently, not so. I am not immune to this either.
In general, honest people do not confess to crimes they did not commit. Most certainly not. Well, maybe with the exception of the Central Park Jogger story, where all the young men arrested and convicted made false confessions and were innocent. That was an anomaly, right? Apparently, not so. This book in detail explains how and why people will confess when they haven't done the crime. This section is truly scary and I have given up my support of the death penalty, telling my hubby he was right all along. I admitted my mistake to him, a rare thing for one who seldom made mistakes (before this listen.)
Mistakes. Yes, that is another area covered. The book explains how and why we justify our mistakes, in the rare cases we make them (or are they so rare?) It is so understandable it is truly unnerving.
Also discussed in depth is a the area of spats, grudges, feuds, divorces, wars and why things get so terribly ugly. This section made me feel truly helpless and sad.
Everyone can benefit from this book. It really is a must listen that I stumbled across as a daily deal. I wouldn't have searched it out. My mistake.
It is life changing for me.
Reduce number of examples probably.
Depends on the book not the idiots who read it.
The book was very informative and helps explain this we do and see around us.
Enough with the Republicans/Conservatives are cheating, lying idiots and corporations are evil, corrupt and Selfish Meme. Can we please move on...
loved it, just got to see seep through myself. I know hard to see our own mistakes but after reading this book I can say, I'm liberated.
Very well done presentation of concepts that help explain stubborn unwillingness to forgive or admit error. I only have to look at myself to see the truth in the book!
I have dubbed this book, 'The Analytical Sledgehammer.'
Mistakes Were Made has become one of my favorite books of all time. It should be required reading for every human being. At its heart, this book examines everything humans believe about their own selves and the world at large. How have we come to believe what we do about ourselves, the people we love, & those we punish? Where did ideas of fairness come from. Why is it so hard to admit fault? What does it all mean on a personal and societal level?
This book will appeal to anyone with a human brain. The studies used in the book are sound and the authors take a wonderfully critically approach to everything they present. If you are capable of even the tiniest bit of self-reflection, this book will delight you in ways you never imagined. Each page will force you to ask if you really know yourself at all.
You might have read books about heuristics, but this book is more accessible than Kahneman's book (thought Kahneman will give you a more thorough education about various heuristics) and is more entertaining and empirically sound that You Are Not So Smart by McRaney.
Ummm. Mistakes Were Made?
Having been put off by several popular books by social psychologists I read in recent years which I felt failed to deliver on the promised goods ("Emotional Intelligence" and "Social Intelligence," both by Daniel Goldman come quickly to mind), I was both relieved and impressed as I listened to the audiobook version of "Mistakes Were Made."
The authors not only convincingly support and develop their thesis from start to finish, they do so in an entertaining fashion. Furthermore, the book offers plenty of opportunity for practical application for any casual reader who dares to pause to consider how his or her own pride, cognitive dissonance, confirmation biases, etc. may cause him/her to re-write history, justify themselves and their experiences, blind themselves from seeing the truth, etc.
I will mention one area where the authors may possibly be a little "off." Toward the end of the book, they share an example of Japanese encouraging mistakes in the classroom and seem to generalize this example for Asian culture. However, across mainland China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, societies seems to be somewhat intolerant of mistakes. Having said all that, this is still a great book. Lisaten to iit!
From on point to the next. Maybe slow it down and use proper dictation methods when reading aloud ideas so people can actually process and meander into the next one. Other than that the book was a good listen.
The basic premise of the book is spot on but ironically enough, the authors contradict themselves fairly blatantly.
George W. Bush and Richard Nixon receive quite a bit of focus while LBJ gets a small mention and Bill Clinton isn't even named though there is one anonymous quote about not having sex with "that girl." Then Scalia comes into the story, Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham and so on. (All Republicans and/or conservative.)
A more intellectually honest approach would have been to observe the inconsistencies on both sides of the political aisle. They do give some lip-service to this, but then always turn back to one political party to make their point.
Again, good premise - flawed execution. "How can they live with themselves" is a refrain that the authors use to set up several examples where the "offender" somehow misses the obviousness of their hypocrisy, but of course the rest of the world sees it vividly. In that same vein, how is it that an editor or close confidant of the authors didn't read this manuscript and point out the need to spread out their observations?
All in all, a very poor book and a truly dishonest approach to an otherwise very interesting subject. I'll be requesting a refund on this one - something I've only done twice in seven years.