Mistakes Were Made by Carol Tavris
(But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

76%

5 Critic Reviews

You don't need to be interested in social psychology to appreciate Mistakes Were Made. All you need is a curiosity about human nature. If you've ever wondered why smokers continue to puff away in spite of knowing the risks...check out this book.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

“Entertaining, illuminating and—when you recognize yourself in the stories it tells—mortifying.” —Wall Street Journal

“Every page sparkles with sharp insight and keen observation. Mistakes were made—but not in this book!” —Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness
 
Why is it so hard to say “I made a mistake”—and really believe it?
 
When we make mistakes, cling to outdated attitudes, or mistreat other people, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so, unconsciously, we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right—a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong. Backed by years of research, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Meoffers a fascinating explanation of self-justification—how it works, the damage it can cause, and how we can overcome it. This updated edition features new examples and concludes with an extended discussion of how we can live with dissonance, learn from it, and perhaps, eventually, forgive ourselves.
 
“A revelatory study of how lovers, lawyers, doctors, politicians—and all of us—pull the wool over our own eyes . . . 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


 

About Carol Tavris

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CAROL TAVRIS is a social psychologist and author of Anger and The Mismeasure of Woman. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Scientific American, and many other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.ELLIOT ARONSON is a social psychologist and author of The Social Animal. The recipient of many awards for teaching, scientific research, writing, and contributions to society, he is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
 
Published May 5, 2008 by Mariner Books. 402 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Self Help, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Mistakes Were Made
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Above average
on May 24 2008

"If mistakes were made," say the authors, "memory helps us remember that they were made by someone else." Which is an observation so shrewd it should appear, like a health warning, on the cover of every autobiography...

Read Full Review of Mistakes Were Made (But Not b... | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Good
on Jun 04 2007

You don't need to be interested in social psychology to appreciate Mistakes Were Made. All you need is a curiosity about human nature. If you've ever wondered why smokers continue to puff away in spite of knowing the risks...check out this book.

Read Full Review of Mistakes Were Made (But Not b... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Good
on Oct 03 2010

This is an excellent book, written in a low-key tone that belies its far-reaching impact. The authors provide no new "fad" theories...Instead, they tie together well-established theories and explain them in common-sense ways.

Read Full Review of Mistakes Were Made (But Not b...

BellaOnline

Above average
on Apr 24 2013

This is a great read, woven together with an enormous amount of research and detail. You won’t be disappointed.

Read Full Review of Mistakes Were Made (But Not b...

Ford Literary Blog

Good
on Feb 07 2008

...the book explains how the stress of cognitive dissonance and personal bias impairs our judgment in insidious ways. Tavris and Aronson make their case using an engaging combination of anecdotes and research studies.

Read Full Review of Mistakes Were Made (But Not b...

Reader Rating for Mistakes Were Made
86%

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