Mistakes Were Made

(But Not By Me)

About the Course:

Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell?

Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception—how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.
The fundamental processes of self-deception and self-justification can influence the ethical decision-making of clinicians. This book facilitates self-awareness and provides clinicians with tools that can minimize self-deception, self-justification, and the potential effects in psychotherapy.

Publication Date:

2008 Reprint Edition

Authors

Tavris, Carol; Aronson, Elliot

About the Authors:

Carol Tavris is a social psychologist and author of Anger and the Mismeasure of Woman. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Scientific American, and many other publications. She lives in Los Angeles.

Elliot Aronson is a social psychologist and author of The Social Animal. The recipient of many awards for teaching, scientific research, writing, and contributions to society, he is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about self-deception, from how it works in the brain to ways we can learn to overcome it. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Define the concepts of self-deception and self-justification, and explain their potential consequences.

  2. Describe how cognitive dissonance, blind spots, and self-justification work to help us justify our actions.

  3. Distinguish between what the authors consider to be good versus bad science, and how they impact clinical practices.

  4. Identify how self-deception and self-justification affect legal issues and marital relations.

  5. Cite examples of how to overcome self-justifying behaviors, and how to apply this to ethical decision-making in the psychotherapy process.

Exam Questions

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