Professor Stephen Davis
The author explains causes for self-justification and explains the root of that issue. He comes to the conclusion that it is cognitive dissonance which is a state of tension that occurs whenever a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent. The author goes on to explain signs and examples of the problem. He goes on to give an example for people who smoke cigarettes, “smoking helps me not put on weight" is possible self-justifications. The author goes more in depth about the theory of cognitive dissonance. He explains about over 3000 experiments that have transformed psychologists' understanding of how the human mind works. Many experiments were tested including pleasure over pain, confirmation bias, post big decision making, and low self-esteem.
The author goes in depth about the idea that we have “blind spots” in our minds. Brain 'blind spots' are self-serving habits that allow us to justify our own perceptions and beliefs as being accurate and realistic and unbiased. He also explains that sometimes our brains can sometimes fail to spot or connect things that other people, not in our situation, easily can. He goes on to explain that people unintentionally fail to notice vital events and information that might make them question their behavior or their convictions. He uses a business aspect to explain his thinking, a business expert may confidently predict an economic downturn. He fails to mention that he has a personal commercial interest in seeing an economic downturn. If an outside observer knew about the expert's commercial interest, they would be skeptical about his opinion.
In this chapter the author themes memory as its topic the chapter focuses on the subject of memory and cognitive dissonance. The authors goes on to explain how sometimes our memory is unreliable to us, he explains in this quote that sometimes are memory of certain situations are based on the situation or even our feelings. “Being absolutely, positively sure a memory is accurate does not mean that it is; our errors in memory support our current feelings and beliefs”. The explanations are very detailed and insightful. Another example used when trying to get to the root of our memories, we do not remember everything that happens to us; we select only highlights. Moreover, recovering a memory is like watching a few unconnected frames of a film and then figuring out what the rest of the scene must have been like. Because memory is reconstructive, it is subject to confabulation.
This chapter discusses and describes how clinical therapists can create and implant false memories in their clients. The author discusses how an epidemic in the 1980’s and 90’s called recovered memory therapy a form of therapy where adults went into therapy with no memory of childhood trauma but came out believing that they had been sexually molested by their parents or tortured in satanic cults. Under hypnosis they said their therapists enabled them to remember horrifying experiences they suffered as infants or even in previous lives. One woman said that she had been molested by her father throughout her life and even days before her own wedding, memories she had repressed until therapy. Others claimed of being burned, some also claimed of being impregnated and forced to have abortions. Very sensitive subject and hard to discus. Credentials proved that clinical psychology and psychiatry were tested and these recovered memories were valid evidence of abuse.
This chapter discusses how law enforcement and the court system can be affected by cognitive dissonance. The author tells how some people are wrongfully accused of crimes that they did not commit; just because law enforcement interrogate them to the point that they do admit to the crime being fully innocent, but with DNA testing eventually gained people get their…