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RS23 - Carol Tavris on Everybody Making Mistakes, Except Us...

Release date: 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."

Comment on the episode teaser.

Carol's picks: 

Reader Comments (4)

Another very good episode!

I would like to see Carol Tavris speak at the next Skepticon or TAM.

BTW: You have a typo in the link for Delusions of Gender. Non-techies may not notice they just have to add the "h" at the beginning of http for the link to work.

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Well if I understand what was said correctly, Aristotle's eudiamonia could only truly known by the person living that good life because others would of necessity have only a fragmented (and likely biased) perception of that individual. However since it was also stated that human memory cannot be trusted even the person living that good life could not be sure of it and therefore it would seem that a good life is impossible to know. You could theoretically live one, but never trust that you have done so.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThameron
Getting outside of ones Comfort Zone & doing a little Self-Examination is a start in being able to Change ones belief system. But I guess the Competitive social landscape we live in today is preventing people from seriously attempting this in their lives. We feel we know we are on the right path and no amount of Cognitive Dissonance can make us feel any different.

Fantastic Episode! Thankz ^ ^
October 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterErnesto
People need to accept their own inherent imperfections. That way, it will not upset them so much when they realize they make a mistake, they will accept their mistake, and not experience so much cognitive dissonance.

Be easy on the people but hard on the issues. So say Ury and Fisher from the Harvard Negotiation Project.

People need to learn to perceive negotiations, and even arguments, as opportunities to learn from someone else instead of just struggles against someone else.
February 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJameson

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