Cognitive dissonance may lead to some very bad outcomes. With “Mistakes were made” Travis and Aronson try to make the reader aware of the possible social and material consequences of cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, and lack of awareness. They make some strong and illustrative points citing several cases in different contexts.
Unfortunately, sometimes their point gets a little bit too strong. While reading some of the sections I had the feeling the authors were on a personal vendetta. Psychotherapists (kind of an academically less sophisticated competition to the social psychologists who authored the book), the police and politicians definitely get their (just) deserts.
“Mistakes were made” is an interesting and illuminating book. It was certainly not a mistake to read it.