I agree with the authors when they mention that self-justification was often done to protect jobs and reputation. I also think it is still used to for these reasons and more. Self-justifications to me, are like excuses as to why an individual made a certain decision and behaves a specific way. I can understand how it can be used to protect a job, especially now days. However, if it is an unethical decision, that affects other people or the purpose of the job itself, sometimes people can face worse consequences. In the examples that were shared in the article of Tavris and Aronson (2008) it did not seem the clinicians had repercussions in what they did. Nevertheless, I am certain if this was done today, things will be different.
In addition, Braun and Schmidmaier (2019) shared that cognitive dissonance is an unpleasant sensation created, for example, by a discrepancy between our thoughts and our behavior or by holding two contradictory viewpoints. I can relate cognitive dissonance to lead to self-justification. An individual can know he or she should not steal a woman’s purse at the mall, however, still does it. How do you feel with cognitive dissonance, and have you ever seen yourself in that position?
Course Name and Number
Self-Justification and Science
Self-justification negatively affects science by preventing its growth in preference for sticking with long-standing personal beliefs or general public consensus. In Chapter 4 of their book, Tavris and Aronson (2008) discuss how seasoned therapists refused to acknowledge points of view that were different from their own for fear of being wrong and having to admit the drastic consequences of their professional actions. Tavris and Aronson (2008) note that scientific disciplines are self-correcting and self-improving. This means that aspects that may be deemed accurate today may be deemed inaccurate tomorrow through scientific research. However, professionals tend to show resistance toward such a shift if the change will render their previous work to be invalid. I can apply these ideas to how I will conduct science in my dissertation. Specifically, I can consider different perspectives from my own without bias to ensure that the path I take is the right one. This means that I have to be open-minded to the possibility of new truths based on new data and scientific research. Overall, these ideas of self-justification generalize when the consequences of accepting the actual truth are severe. For instance, a therapist whose professional opinion sends a person to prison wrongly is likely to self-justify in order to recuse him/herself from responsibility.
Self-Justification and the Law
Self-justification affects the law by preventing the practice of true justice. In Chapter 5 of their book, Tavris and Aronson (2008) discuss several examples of wrongful convictions made throughout the years. In these examples, even after new evidence emerged that exonerated the wrongfully accused individuals, the prosecutors and investigating police officers were still adamant that the persons of interest were guilty. Tavris and Aronson (2008) reveal that this self-justification is often done to protect jobs, reputations, or colleagues. In extreme circumstances, innocent people are kept in prison under the premise that they might have carried out some other unknown crime. This self-justification prevents the justice system from being effective. These ideas can be generalized to other areas. Often, people in different disciplines often do not want to admit their mistakes when new evidence that disputes their professional actions arises. For example, a therapist whose statement condemns a person for rape may try to shift blame to other parties if new evidence becomes known to exonerate the individual. This is especially true if the consequences of his/her actions are extreme, for instance, if the wrongfully
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