Piezocuttlefish's Reviews > Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris
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's review
May 23, 2008

really liked it
Recommended for: Anyone who's made a mistake
Read in May, 2008

Mistakes Were Made is a tour through the different ways in which cognitive dissonance motivates otherwise normal, good people to do wretched things. Making such stops as the tragedies of recovering so-called repressed memories, the unfortunate bias of the parts of the legal system which are immune to criticism, and growing disparities of perception between perpetrators and victims, Mistakes Were Made also highlights many other scientific and psychological tidbits. Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson weave a slowly accelerating narrative of the power of cognitive dissonance in our lives, one that grows ever closer to home. At the end of each chapter and at the end of the text, the authors provide examples of people who chose the better path. As for an explanation of how to do so, it is lacking, but in my own reading I oft thought about my own dissonances and my own mistakes. Mistakes Were Made highlights the biases we have toward creation delusional or unproductive stories to guide our lives. It is up to us to create the more accurate stories.

"When a friend makes a mistake, the friend remains a friend, and the mistake remains a mistake." — Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres
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