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.
"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)
This book was written in a research style that dragged with redundancy at times. I liked most of the examples of denial & dissonance given, but some were lengthy & tedious. A closing summary of how to avoid becoming a major mistake maker in denial would have been helpful.
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.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
"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...
This is one of those books that made me regret not majoring in social psychology since it is so fascinating and useful in understanding our own nature via scientific studies and facts. Please get this book if you are looking to learn something while also being hooked to such an interesting subject.
This book gave me a whole new perspective on life & mistakes. This book was recommended to me & I am so grateful. Listening to it has been so healing & freeing. I hope you get the same out this book as I did.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
There are a number of books out there that pull together the latest psychological research for the lay audience. This is a really good one. And the subject, as you may infer from the title, has to do with the people's tendency to rationalize and justify their own behavior. As pessimistic as I was before I started this book, I think the authors managed to convince me that the situation is even worse than I imagined. It is said that acknowledging the problem is the first step toward finding a solution. While I would like to believe that, this rationalization tendency seems to be so deeply ingrained in the human brain that I despair of an absolute solution. I do still hope for some progress toward managing and mitigating this dysfunctional aspect of human nature. Regardless, it is an eye-opening book and strongly recommended.
This book is written with fascinating examples of people and nations refusing to take responsibility and instead justify their actions no matter how badly they turned out. You will learn better ways to handle mistakes. And, you did make mistakes. This book explains dissidence and shows the lengths we will go to to avoid it.
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