The takeaway: we must learn to spot our own self-justification, and stop it when required, to prevent further action based upon false self-justification.
Many even told stories with happy endings that provided a reassuring sense of closure, along the lines of everything is fine now, there was no damage to the relationship; For their part, the victims had a rather different take on the perpetrators' justifications, which might be summarized as Oh, yeah? Our brain has to protect us.In another manifestation of "blind spot", humans always have an"us", against "them". So what can you do to stop this self-reinforcing cycle of not admitting mistakes, making up excuses and then confirming those excuses? Stop thinking you’re stupid for making mistakes. Â Itâs a great overview of everyday situations and historical examples where these play a role in everything from learning to our relationships. mistakes. “Cognitive psychologists view stereotypes as energy-saving devices that allow us to make efficient decisions on the basis of past experiences; they help us quickly process new information, retrieve memories, identify real differences between groups, and predict, often with considerable accuracy, how others will behave or think.”, “The downside is that stereotypes flatten out differences within the category we are looking at and exaggerate differences between categories.”, “Once people have a prejudice, just as once they have a political ideology, they do not easily drop it, even if the evidence indisputably contradicts a core justification for it. The greater their confidence, the greater the dissonance they will feel if confronted with evidence that they were wrong, and the greater the need to reject that evidence.
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Seeing as how they have lived with themselves their whole lives, their own way feels natural, inevitable. One decides to steal, the other decides not to. The goal is to become aware of the two dissonant cognitions that are causing distress and find a way to resolve them constructively, or, when we can't, learn to live with them. And once that happens, an innocent defendant is on the ropes. The most powerful piece of evidence a detective can produce in an investigation is a confession, because it is the one thing most likely to convince a prosecutor, jury, and judge of a person's guilt. As the practices of psychology and psychiatry have developed, many psychiatrists have not been trained in psychology, which dampens their ability to understand the patient and provide holistic treatment.
Please check your email to confirm your subscription. each of them will become ever so surer that their path was the right one to We say, I was provoked; anyone would do what I did; or I had no choice; or Yes, I said some awful things, but that wasn't meâit's because I was drunk. Classroom, teamed up in 2007 to give us answers to these questions in book
Of course, all of us do grow and mature, but generally not as much as we think we have.
Prejudices diminish under less economic competition, when truces are signed, when professions are integrated; basically when we are in a position to realize they arenât that different from us. The researchers also found that American parents, teachers, and children were far more likely than their Japanese and Chinese counterparts to believe that mathematical ability is innate; if you have it, you don't have to work hard, and if you don't have it, there's no point in trying. Of course, some couples separate because of a cataclysmic revelation, an act of betrayal, or violence that one partner can no longer tolerate or ignore. Because memory is reconstructive, it is subject to confabulationâconfusing an event that happened to someone else with one that happened to you, or coming to believe that you remember something that never happened at all.
One decides to steal, the other decides not to. Okay, Require your daughter to take piano lessons, and later she will complain that you wrecked her love of the piano. Few deny that the ticking-time-bomb justification for torture would be reasonable under those circumstances. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. In fact, come to think of it, it was the right thing.
That is why we are usually oblivious to the self-justifications, the little lies to ourselves that prevent us from even acknowledging that we made mistakes or foolish decisions, But dissonance theory applies to people with low self-esteem, too, to people who consider themselves to be schnooks, crooks, or incompetents. Tavris and Aronson, both social psychologists, demonstrate the whys and hows of this maxim by blending research with anecdotal evidence from …
What’s right for you might not be right for others, and what you believe to be right, might not be right at all.
You need to remember that you will naturally do anything in your power to confirm and preserve your beliefs, including unconsciously distorting your perceptions and memories. It starts with one seemingly benign step in the immoral direction, and it snowballs with our need to justify our prior behaviors, which then makes us more likely to go further in the immoral direction without realizing it. take. When things are going well, people feel pretty tolerant of other cultures and religionsâthey even feel pretty tolerant of the other sex!âbut when they are angry, anxious, or threatened, the default position is to activate their blind spots. The chapter tells numerous stories around the theme of "blind spots". Overall a great book that has led me to examining in more detail the cognitive biases we all are subject to, and even further to mental models which help thinking. to share more, but that’s how it goes .
The trouble is that those circumstances are very rare, so the saving lives excuse starts being used even when there is no ticking and there is no bomb. We also distort our memories to create more positive pictures of ourselves, even when those pictures don’t accurately reflect reality.
Rather, you will justify your right to the privilege, and it will prevent you from accurately understanding and speaking about people who do not have that same privilege.
“How do you get an honest man to lose his ethical compass? We all self-justify as a way to protect against cognitive dissonance, whether positively or negatively. By the time a couple's style of argument has escalated into shaming and blaming each other, the very purpose of their quarrels has shifted. What is the other option?
Children who, like their Asian counterparts, are praised for their efforts, even when they don't get it at first, eventually perform better and like what they are learning more than children praised for their natural abilities. Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) is a non-fiction book by social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, first published in 2007.It deals with cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias and other cognitive biases, using these psychological theories to illustrate how the perpetrators (and victims) of hurtful acts justify and rationalize their behavior. We keep our mistakes to ourselves.
On reading Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson's Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me), David Newnham warns on the dangers of relying on one's memory. Virtually the first act of the new democracy was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It allows people to convince themselves that what they did was the best thing they could have done. Our own preference for our culture, nation, religion, etc.
mindset you need to deal with mistakes the right way. In our private relationships, we are on our own, and that calls for some self-awareness.
Lawyers do it.
We have the human qualities of intelligence and deep emotions, but theyare dumb, they are crybabies, they don't know the meaning of love, shame, grief, or remorse, A stereotype might bend or even shatter under the weight of disconfirming information, but the hallmark of prejudice is that it is impervious to reason, experience, and counterexample, Social psychologists Chris Crandall and Amy Eshelman, reviewing the huge research literature on prejudice, found that whenever people are emotionally depletedâwhen they are sleepy, frustrated, angry, anxious, drunk, or stressedâthey become more willing to express their real prejudices toward another group, Nice try, but the evidence shows clearly that while inebriation makes it easier for people to reveal their prejudices, it doesn't put those attitudes in their minds in the first place, But most people are unhappy about believing it, and that creates dissonance: I dislike those people collides with an equally strong conviction that it is morally or socially wrong to say so, By understanding prejudice as our self-justifying servant, we can better see why some prejudices are so hard to eradicate: They allow people to justify and defend their most important social identitiesâtheir race, their religion, their sexualityâwhile reducing the dissonance between I am a good person and I really don't like those people.
“This change, from the uncritical “believe the children” to the more discerning “understand the children,” reflects a recognition that mental-health professionals need to think more like scientists and less like advocates; they must weigh all the evidence fairly and consider the possibility that their suspicions are unfounded.
This bias in memory explains why each of us feels that we have changed profoundly, but our friends, enemies, and loved ones are the same old friends, enemies, and loved ones they ever were. Everyone does it. For summaries of Intro and Chapter One, see earlier posts. We must be careful to not allow memory distortion to let us off the hook for being responsible for the things weâve done or made decisions about in life. And that, in turn, requires us to be more mindful of our behavior and the reasons for our choices.