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)
I'm a diverse individual with a Masters in both Theology and Computer Science, a fellow traveler and explorer going after all the marrow I can get out of life!
The book is a bit dry, but knowledge is not always entertaining. It's a bit complex, so unlike the human being... It is definitely a worthwhile read and is credible science, unlike most of the over-simplified dribble that is presented as science today. One must approach this book with an open mind, a love for psychology, and strive to better understand the complex human condition -- one's own condition. If you harp on the details of who the authors picked as examples, you've missed the point. If you are looking for a political slant, bashing of belief in UFOs (of the intergalactic kind), or even probably religion, (since you are looking) you will find it. We are all creatures of our time, we have dispositions, views, and preferences. This book, if you read it not looking for your own agenda, is an excelling insight into how we make decisions and live with (and explain away) their convergences. I myself am guilty... oh and BTW: this download is only part I, can't seem to find part II...
A fascinating discussion of cognitive dissonanance, something that affects every single one of us; not only the people we disagree with. I'm sure that this book will confirm your prejudices if listened to casually but if listened to with as an open a mind as you can muster it will cause you to begin to re-evaluate your own memories, beliefs and relationship with the 'truth'. A wonderful opportunity to 'look in the mirror'.
I'm sure none of us think that we indulge in self-justification to the point that we lie to ourselves unconsciously. But it seems we do. It's important, if we are striving to be more considerate of others and striving to be more compassionate with ourselves, to live consciously. This book helps us to be more aware of the stories we tell ourselves to justify bad behaviour as well as honest mistakes.
The authors extend their ideas and research to politics and how generally honest people find themselves in huge conflicts of interest; and science, where those conflicts of interest can cost people their lives and health; and nations, where quarrels are endless and bloody and whole masses of people can be manipulated into supporting wrong-headed, destructive and even illegal policies; and personally, where self-justification can destroy relationships.
The knowledge presented in this book is very helpful for those who wish to try and be more aware of the tricks our consciousness plays in the effort to maintain self-esteem at all costs.
I intend to listen to this book over and over again.
I was disappointed it was extremely similar to the Social Animal which I had already read and that it didn't go into as much scientific detail as the Social Animal (I can be real nerdy-most people will probably prefer this version to the textbook The Social Animal). But despite these small dislikes I was very impressed with information and particularly the fact the book gave practical advice about to apply the book's concepts to everyday life.
I am facinitated about how the human mind works and how we make decisions in our daily lives. In my opinion this book is one of the best out there for exploring how the mind works and how people can arrive in a position contrary to their initial core beliefs over time.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
A bit uneven and towards the end a bit too Oprah-centric. Felt like the book drifted from a scientific/psychological work to a clinical/self-help piece (a rational, scientifically grounded self-help book, but still one regardless). It was interesting, but sadly disappointing too.
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.
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?
I love to read but with my busy schedule I barely get a chance to. However, audiobooks allow me to "read" while I manage my crazy life.
This books takes us into our tendency as human beings for self-preservation when faced with the difficult challenge of admitting we were wrong. Our instinct is to deny any errors we made when confronted with the truth, followed by continuing on with the facade by insisting on the truth of our actions or words or by justifying them. The concepts and examples in this book are enlightening in showing us how blinded we are by self-righteous notions that we need to destroy relationships or risk innocent lives to perpetuate our mistakes rather than atone for them.
The only issue I had with the ideas provided is that in order for one to seek forgiveness and gain absolution, one must first be able to recognize he or she was wrong in the first place. Some instances were easier than other to decide where the fault lies, but others were more difficult. For instance, in the case of the couple in the marriage section, individually they can both be viewed as correct while collectively an observer can find flaws in both sides. This then slightly contradicts the writer in their section of memory and its fallible tendencies. Unless life is recorded 24/7 it is unlikely to be able to recall a situation with clarity and accuracy. Therefore a couple would have to rely on their semi-untrustworthy memory to recall a potential tipping-point event in their relationship. So who is right? He? She? Neither? I believe the author would argue that neither is correct and both parties need to re-evaluate their approach. I would agree to a certain extent, however, unless you truly believe you have committed a wrong-doing, your actions will eventually appear placating and inauthentic and every disagreement will feel like a struggle.
I guess the bottom line is: don't be an arrogant schmuck, but don't be a doormat either. There is a seam in between that we must navigate through, taking responsibility for all of our actions, putting our big-kid pants on and owning up to the decisions we make and the lives we affect along the way regardless of how humiliating, degrading, or painful it may be to do so because in the end our character will remain intact and our integrity untouched.
Narrator did a great job, there were a few times were her pitch pierced, but not enough to deter from the book.
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
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.
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