It is common for most people to justify their actions even when they are wrong and they are confronted with evidence that is refutable. Many people do not realize that they are quick to notice people’s mistakes and note when they try to cover them up. Individually, many people hate admitting their mistakes when they create cognitive dissonance. Similarly, most people act the same in different contexts when deciding between two different conflicting ideas. An instance clearly illustrating this depicts people holding on to broken relationships because they think they put in a lot of effort building the relationship. The best thing would be to terminate such a relationship, but due to cognitive dissonance, people think that their decision to hold onto ideas will eventually produce desired outcomes. According to the article, many people’s memories are shaped according to their egos, hence they distort the facts to favor them deviating from the true memories.
Cognitive dissonance refers to the state that a person has when they hold on to beliefs or ideas which are psychologically inconsistent. An instance of cognitive dissonance is where someone who is aware of the ill effects of smoking continues smoking while convincing themselves they did not over consume tobacco. The human behavior demonstrates that our behavior is controlled by the transcending effects that punishments and rewards pose. Information that is consonant to our views and beliefs are considered as useful. However, dissonant information whether reliable of not is considered as bias. People tend to criticize information that contradicts their beliefs even when the details are factual. Moreover, a research was conducted where people were required to place a bet and before the results came out, each person was convinced that their bets were right. This confirms that the mentality of many people make decisions that contribute to dissonance whenever the subject deals with money, time or inconvenience.
Pride and prejudice
Prejudice affects peoples’ decision making even when undisputable evidence contradicts their opinion. Additionally, they would rather come up with justifications that protect what they believe in. the excerpt provides an instance where student are required to evaluate Robert, a homosexual. The anti-gay participants in the study were bias as they described Robert as one who had more feminine qualities than masculine. This study involved eight different acts performed by Robert that were used to make a judgment. However, the stereotypes thought that most of Roberts acts were queer which not the case was. It is necessary to have critics in society who go against self-justification and stand for the outright truth without discrimination. The article conducts a research to evaluate self-justification and bias. Two individuals are given the chance to steal and each does the contrary, believing that their choice to steal or not to steal was the right path to follow.
According to the article, a survey was conducted comparing learning in the U.S and China. The Chinese students who did the worst were required to go up to the board and solve mathematic problems. Even if they failed in their attempt, they proceeded until they got the right answer, as compared to American student who were afraid of failure.
In conclusion, it is important for individuals to realize that making mistakes is normal and people should own up to their mistakes. This will develop a mindset of dealing with challenges the right way.
Travis, Carol, and Elliot Aronson. Mistakes Were Made: (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts. London: Pinter & Martin, 2008. Print.