Mistakes were made – but not by me

Here is a great book on the self-justification strategies used to reconcile our self-image as benevolent and competent and the fact that we sometimes do things that are wrong or bad.  While the theory of cognitive dissonance is not new, there are lots of recent examples to show the usefulness of the concept.

I have some quibbles with the way some of the research is presented (particularly the statements that we could only know for sure about causal attribution with a Randomised Controlled Trial – sigh), but the central argument seems sound.  The book presents many challenges for ‘speaking truth to power’ and for having genuine evaluations accepted and acted on, which we will continue to explore in this blog.

A summary of the argument is outlined on the book webpage and podcasts are also available.

1 comment to Mistakes were made – but not by me

  • Dear professor Rogers

    Hi what wonderful explorations and donations!
    Yes self-justification is a social & mental mechanism that one who has power or desirous it may be uses this tool incorrectly or illegaly. In our profession it is more important. Lately notes in this blog are good examples for this significant:

    500 cockroaches on a bus – or are there?

    Investing In Innovation – a need to apply what we know about evidence-based policy

    And what amazing book and complete book webpage! I follow the links you noted and obtain twenty informative A4 pages about it content and review of it and other media regarding it.

    Best & have a nice nature spring & your spring: Program Theory book