December 5, 2010
Our guest, Carol Tavris discusses her book (co-authored with Elliot Aronson) “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.” In it they describe how our powerful cognitive dissonance engine of self-justification gives us the incredible ability to rationalize events and beliefs so that we always end up being better than average at being right. Also, how we are forced into these rationalizations by our absolute need to somehow square our most dearly held opinions of ourselves with the nasty tendency of some facts to contradict them.
Carol Tavris is a social psychologist who has tought at UCLA. She has written for many publications, including the NY Times and the LA Times. She is the author of a number of books, including “The Mismeasure of Women” and the recently re-released, “Psychobabble and Biobunk.”