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Bush: Naturally, Never Wrong
The Washington Post
By Shankar Vedantam
Monday, July 9, 2007; Page A03

The different perceptions of victims and perpetrators in Baumeister’s experiment are a result of a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance, Tavris and Aronson argue in a new book titled, “Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me).” When we do something that hurts others, there is a part of us that recognizes our action as despicable. But that comes into conflict — into dissonance — with our belief that we are good people. The solution? We reinterpret our hurtful actions to minimize our responsibility and downplay the pain we have caused.

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