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Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts | [Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson]

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2008 Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles 05-31-15
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles 05-31-15 Member Since 2014

    CMKx

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "understanding self mind tricks"

    until I listened to this audio book I could not understand how I justified my very bad decisions. now I know why.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teadrinker Oak Ridge, NJ, United States 02-13-14
    Teadrinker Oak Ridge, NJ, United States 02-13-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overall Good Book"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam bundaberg, Australia 03-16-13
    Sam bundaberg, Australia 03-16-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't let the start fool you"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly-o Seattle 02-08-13
    Molly-o Seattle 02-08-13 Member Since 2007

    English major. Love to read

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A timely and important 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?

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Austin, TX, United States 01-27-12
    Alison Austin, TX, United States 01-27-12 Member Since 2010

    Miss Construed

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An insightful, if sometimes uncomfortable, read."

    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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorina Vancouver, WA, United States 02-11-11
    Dorina Vancouver, WA, United States 02-11-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Buying the paper version, the reader is terrible."

    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.

    22 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karissa Hendrickson 05-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Insightful"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela C. Southern CA 04-10-15
    Angela C. Southern CA 04-10-15
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    "much meaning in my own life and past relationships"

    When listen to openly this book resolved a lot of the issues I have with my past relationship

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Dee H. Groberg 04-09-15

    Consultant to senior executives. Focus is increased effectiveness by helping people see and release more of their full potential.

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    "Explains so much using just one basic principle."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew T. Giobbi 04-06-15 Member Since 2015

    I am a university professor & author. I teach courses in media theory & psychology. I live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

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    "Worth reading"

    This is an excellent introduction to the literature in social psychology. The authors go on rants at points (Chapter 4 for example) that celebrate their particular points of view. There are some straw man arguments as well. Overall it is a very good text and worth reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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