until I listened to this audio book I could not understand how I justified my very bad decisions. now I know why.
This is a good book but it starts out with politics and a presumption that everyone feels the way the authors do, a common academic mistake - why do we make such mistakes? Anyhow, I think of the book frequently - getting past the politics, it was good.
This book's introduction speaks about American politics and the Watergate scandal, but instead of being a hook for me, it almost convinced me to swap to another book. Fortunately, I stuck it out and wound up listening to the whole thing in two sessions.
Using several different topics as frameworks, the authors work their way through many different aspects of how we delude ourselves and commit to mistakes. It is easy to follow and makes it simple to apply the lessons learned to your own mistakes. Genuinely interesting almost all of the way through with solid content and well-chosen examples, this is my best read in quite a while.
The narration occasionally switches between the male and female speaker and while this was initially distracting, it soon became natural and fitted well with the professional quality of the narration overall.
English major. Love to read
I am not sure why I downloaded this as I wasn't expecting to like it -- which isn't like me. Nonetheless, I started and I found it very illuminating. The authors spend a tad too much time with the lack of evidence in the sexual abuse scandals in the last 10 years, but I forgive them. They point up a tendency that is like finding a new lens through which to see life and how we all conduct ourselves. I have found myself just saying that I made a mistake rather than always couching it in a context - that's a change! So, it's not long, it's insightful and well read. That's a good read, isn't it?
This book has a very interesting premise: that most of the problems we face in life are because we do not accept responsibility for our actions. People spend a great deal of time engaged in self-justification for hurtful actions.
One of the primary examples is what happened with the pre-school sex abuse scandals in the 90's. One of the most infamous started with accusations by a woman whom, it was later discovered, was mentally ill. Other parents at the school believed her, and children recounted improbable stories of abuse at the urging and direction of therapists and law enforcement.
"Mistakes Were Made" discusses the falibility of memory, and source confusion. In the example of the children making the accusations, leading questions became facts for the children. The same type of source confusion happens to adults.
When the therapists and law enforcement investigated the alleged abuse, they failed to notice that the children's stories were improbable. The investigators self-justified their failure to correlate the facts, and so many lives were ruined.
There is an extensive discussion of cognitive disonance, which is worth an entire book on its own. False memories are sometimes created to resolve cognitive disonance.
I did question the concept of "self-justification" as it applies to organizations, such as companies and countries. The authors treated those groups as if the groups were an individual entity. I didn't see any support for the position that a group somehow develops a consciousness and works to reduce cognitive disonance.
The performance was good. It's the first Audible Book I have listened to with two narrators that worked well.
As you progress through the book you will begin to recognize and understand some of the more difficult to fathom behaviors in others and ourselves.
First off, I am sorely disappointed in some of the reviewers for failing to see beyond context. It's not about taking a side in politics, but about pulling out psychological phenomenon REGARDLESS of who ends up looking bad. Such is science. Science doesn't care about your politics it only cares about the truth. Clinton's foibles are brought in to play right alongside Bush's...again, science doesn't care about politics or making waves by uncovering things people would rather not deal with, it only cares about truth.
Cognitive Dissonance could probably be named as the driving force of humanity. And the driving force of the politically heated bad reviews.
As for this audiobook...it almost put me to sleep. The reader is absolutely terrible. She sounds like an automated computer. Sentences are run together such that you don't even feel the periods, paragraphs are in a monotone. It's not her voice that is unpleasant, it's the way she reads it. The paper version is engaging, this audiobook is not. You could have a better reader by letting your Kindle voice the words...ugh.
Save your money and make a note NOT to buy this or any other books read by Marsha Mercant.
Fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author takes you inside the mind tricks we play to rationalize and justify our mistakes and bad behavior. I better understand why some, even myself, are willing to lie to others and to ourselves to maintain an image we want ourselves or others to believe.
When listen to openly this book resolved a lot of the issues I have with my past relationship
Consultant to senior executives. Focus is increased effectiveness by helping people see and release more of their full potential.
Naturally I only buy and read, (or in this case LISTEN to), books that I believe will be well written, informative, and helpful. This book exceeded my expectations in each are. Deeply thought-provoking, it helped me better understand both myself and others. Full of great examples which makes it very enjoyable to read.