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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

4.1 (531 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve Alden, MI, United States 07-20-12
    Steve Alden, MI, United States 07-20-12
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    "One can justify anything............"

    I enjoyed the style of the writing and easy to listen voices of the narrators. Very interesting points made and see my own failures expressed through the authors pen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Surprise, Arizona 06-12-12
    Josh Surprise, Arizona 06-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    Story
    "INTEGRITY - is the hidden title here"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) to be better than the print version?

    Having not read the book I still would say this is better than the read. This is a very, very wordy book. Although not knowing the exact words the inflection justifies its meaning.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    None.


    Which character – as performed by Marsha Mercant and Joe Barrett – was your favorite?

    None.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    How unconsciously we forget about the roots of integrity and how easily our perspective can so sway or concrete one's opinion. Many people's reviews have been that this was a political book and Bush - blah, blah. In all reality it was far from the truth. Such political examples in the book are excellent and tangible examples that make understanding how dissidence works.


    Any additional comments?

    I did have concerns listening to the book that this was going to completely leave me hanging.. having large concerns on how to combat dissidence and not really knowing how or what to do in such a situation. I like how the book ends and how it cleared up how to not allow dissidence run one's life. I was reluctant to give this book a try because so many said it was political when in fact it wasn't. This book is definitely for the deep thinker.. This book was clearly written by psychologists. Lots of clinical and long worded sentences which at times made it hard to follow. That aside the big picture is clear and the message they are talking about is fascinating in how the human brain works - especially under pressure of one's REAL opinion.

    I would highly suggest this book.. well worth the time. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-30-12
    05-30-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Great book"

    I liked the book at lot. Very informative and interesting. Will try to find another book like this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Hanover, MD, United States 03-12-11
    michael Hanover, MD, United States 03-12-11 Member Since 2005
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    "the truth will set you free"

    Debunks the repressed memory witch hunts. Very good introduction to cognitive dissonance theory. Guaranteed to offend those living in fantasy land (christians).

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 06-28-13
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 06-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "At last, the truth is out."

    It has hit the fan. What we have long known or expected, is really true. The need for spin, double-speak and "fudging", will surely stop now. Really? Don't bet your life on it. Great uncovering of the truth..

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orson Greensboro, NC, United States 09-29-10
    Orson Greensboro, NC, United States 09-29-10
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    "Politics, not science"

    The problem with a book about rationalization of mistakes is that everything depends on your judgment of what actions were mistakes, and what explanations are mere rationalizations. If one person believes he made the right choice, but the authors disagree, then they call his explanations "rationalizations," while if the authors agree, then of course it's not rationalization at all.

    The result is that it is the authors who are rationalizing their own biases, and the book is essentially worthless as anything but feel-good reassurance if your views happen to coincide exactly with the authors'.

    7 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 10-02-10
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 10-02-10 Member Since 2005

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

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    "Huge Disappointment"

    This is mostly a 'relationship' book. It's not in the league of books like Black Swan or Predictably Irrational.

    I found most of the book boring. What's actually somewhat funny is that the book is read by a woman and a man. The man's parts are very minor which come across like the "dumb man" TV commercials. Ever notice that? How the man is always the dummy...

    Well, they got me on this one. I should have seen the word "hurtful" as my clue to this being a feely more than a heady book.

    Not recommended by this reviewer.

    5 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Sarasota, FL, United States 09-04-10
    Stephen Sarasota, FL, United States 09-04-10
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    "Mistake was buying this book"

    This book is a poorly disguised vehicle to present 'liberal', far left of center political opinions. Book begins with diatribes against George Bush, Cheny, war on Iraq etc...the comments are predictable and not insightful in anyway. As you may have now guessed the authors are referring to political views that do agree with as foolish beliefts and bad decisions...if you are left leaning and want to rehash the same old opinions, then this is the book for you..othewise don't expect scholarly or insightful psychological analysis like that found in books like Blink, Predictable Irrational etc...

    12 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Stanfield 09-17-10
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    "Over-simplified dribble"

    I was hoping this book would be an insightful look into human behavior (along the lines of Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely). Instead I struggled to listen to the first 2 hours of this pointless, politically-guided, psycho-babble until I could take no more. The authors seem to believe that cognitive dissonance (a way of reconciling one's "bad" behavior with the self-perception as a "good" person) drives all thoughts and behaviors. Although this is true for all of us some of the time, it is not for most of us most of the time. Sometimes we know what we did was bad and change because we have learned from the mistakes of our past. The title would more aptly read, "Mistakes Were Made (But NEVER By Me): Why We NEVER Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts (And NEVER Learn From Mistakes)." If it had such a title, I would never purchase it as it would be based on a clearly false premise.

    6 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Fleming Island, FL, United States 08-20-10
    Peter Fleming Island, FL, United States 08-20-10 Listener Since 2001
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    "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)"

    Good book if you want to be defrauded of a credit. It's advertised as a study of a peculiar human psychological phenomena, but is actually nothing but a tendentious screed.

    15 of 73 people found this review helpful
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