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LSC-Kingwood Common Read 2014-2016: Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)

LSC-Kingwood Common Read

Related Books   |   About the Authors   |   Instructor Resources  

Common Book for 2014 - 2016

Why is it so hard for us to admit being wrong?

Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): book cover

Tavris, Carol and Elliot Aronson. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. Mariner Books; Reprint edition (March 2008).

Call Number: BF337 .C63 T38 2008 (print; 3 copies on reserve)

                      BF337 .C63 T38 2012ab (sound recording; circulating CD-Rom books)

*copies on reserve are for short-term checkout out of the library. Ask at the circulation desk.

Related Books

Dead Certain by Robert Draper

Draper, Robert. Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. Free Press, 2007. LSC-Kingwood. E902 .D73 2007. Also available upon request from HCPL, MCML and other Lone Star College libraries.

Follies of the Wise by Frederick Crews

Crews, Frederick.  Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays. Shoemaker & Hoard : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2006. LSC-Kingwood. BF173 . C796 2006.

LSC-Kingwood Library has a longer list of selected books which extend the topics discussed in this book.

About the Authors

Instructor Resources & Links


  • NPR: Why It’s Hard to Admit Being Wrong:  Interview with Elliot Aaronson - Listen to the interview, find a transcript and read an excerpt from the book.
  • Carol Tavris - Mistakes Were Made -  Carol Tavris describes dissonance theory and how self-justification and self-deception often keep people from changing their minds even in the light of compelling contrary evidence, because the evidence is often dissonant with one’s self-image. She details the implications of dissonance theory for the persistence of psychic charlatans and other peddlers of the paranormal, and how it may explain how someone like Sylvia Brown can live with herself, and also how it may explain how believers remain so gullible about such unsupportable claims. She describes confirmation bias as a component of dissonance theory. She talks about how dissonance theory applies to the skeptic movement, both in terms of suggesting the best strategies for engaging the credulous, and in terms of fostering skepticism about one’s own skeptical views. And she argues that skepticism should be affirmative rather than destructive in its approach, and focused on both critical thinking and creative thinking alike. Also in this episode, The Honest Liar, Jamy Ian Swiss, talks about who psychics really see when they look in the mirror.
  • Carol Anne Tavris: Podcast Interview with Transcript

  • The Scientist and the Humanist: A Conversation with Elliot Aronson Carol Tavris and Joshua Aronson discuss behavioral psychology with renowned psychologist Elliot Aronson. (prejudice, evidence-based research, the jig-saw classroom, writing)
  • Carol Anne Tavris: Cognitive Dissonance (6 parts)
  • Carol Tavris: Who’s Lying, Who’s Self-Justifying? Origins of the He Said/She Said Gap in Sexual Allegations
  • Carol Anne Tavris: Dissent and Dissonance: The Science and Art of Argument
  • Websites

    For further information about cognitive dissonance’s role in false convictions see The Innocence Project.